Tiemoue Bakayoko says Chelsea’s players enjoy working with Antonio Conte and admits he would be ‘disappointed’ if he left this summer.
Conte, 48, has cut an increasingly frustrated figure at Stamford Bridge this season and is expected to move on following the FA Cup final against Manchester United.
The Italian won the Premier League in his first season in England last year as Chelsea blew their rivals away to top the table by seven points.
But the club’s title defence ended months ago and they are on the verge of missing out on a top-four finish with Liverpool in pole position to claim fourth-place.
Despite Chelsea’s struggles this season, Bakayoko insists he would be ‘disappointed’ if Conte did leave the club.
Asked about speculation over the manager’s future in west London, Bakayoko told Sky Sports: ‘I don’t really pay attention to that.
‘He’s never said that he might leave and he’s always extremely focused on winning, on doing well in the season. ‘As a player, I would be disappointed [if he leaves].
We all like working with the coach and having this relationship in the long-term.
‘I’ve been working with him for a year and I’ve progressed a lot under him but it’s really up to the club management, up to him and his entourage but he hasn’t said anything.’
Ahead of the final day of the season, Chelsea know only a victory over Newcastle United will give them a chance of finishing in the final Champions League position ahead of Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side need just a point to secure fourth and face Brighton at home.
‘We’re struggling to take a place in the Champions League,’ Conte said this week. ‘But we play in a very tough league where there are six top teams fighting for a place.
‘Two years ago Chelsea ended the season 10th and not in the final of the FA Cup or semi-final of Carabao Cup.
‘They were eliminated in the last 16 (of the Champions League) against Paris St Germain. I’m the last person to judge the moment of the club.
‘There must be other persons to see the situation, to judge the situation, to take the right evaluation after two years of work and understand what the position is of Chelsea in the panoramic of football.’