Antonio Conte: Winning the Premier League with Chelsea would be my greatest triumph

simon johnson

Antonio Conte believes winning the title with Chelsea this season will be the best triumph of his managerial career.

Chelsea are favourites to clinch the Premier League crown in Conte’s first year in charge as they are four points ahead of Tottenham with just six games to go.

The Blues finished a lowly 10th last term, while they were outspent in the summer transfer window by both Manchester clubs.

Conte claimed three successive Serie A trophies while manager of Juventus between 2011-14, but feels finishing top with Chelsea would outshine that hat-trick.

When asked if ending the campaign in first place would be his greatest achievement, Conte said: “Yes, for sure. For sure. For me, for the players, for the club.

“I think, now, to win the title in England is a great achievement. A top achievement for the coach, the players and the club. To win in England these days is not easy. To win this League is difficult.

“We must know that now it's a good season. It will remain a good season. But we want it to become a great season, a fantastic season. To become a great or fantastic season there is only one way: to try and win.”

Chelsea have won four championships since owner Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 and have relied on the Russian multi-billioniare’s wealth in the transfer market to secure supremacy.

In the last close season though, their net spend of £97.65m was significantly lower than Manchester City’s £169.05m and Manchester United’s £141.05m. In January, they recouped another £70m from the sale of Oscar and Patrick Bamford, while senior squad members Branislav Ivanovic and Mikel John Obi also left on free transfers and reduced the wage bill.

When asked if potentially winning silverware with a lower budget will give him even more satisfaction, he replied: “Yeah, I think this season it's very important to understand that it's not always about who spends more money, wins.

“Otherwise, in this League, this season the name of the team wasn't Chelsea or Tottenham or Arsenal or Liverpool. You understand?

“Do I expect them (the Manchester clubs) to spend more in the summer? Yeah, but like every year. You've seen the past. You can see that every season they spend a lot of money. It's normal. It's right for them to do this, to reinforce their teams, if they think this is the right way to win the title.

“I think in every situation it's important to find the right balance. If you have to spend money, try and spend that money in the right way to take players with the right characteristics for your idea of football.

“But, for us, I repeat: this season is very important because we are trying to build something important for the present, to put the foundations down and be strong, stronger for the future. And to build, also, slowly slowly to become a real power. A real power in the future.”

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