Chelsea have completed their first sessions of pre-season training, and amazingly, have done so under the watchful eye of Antonio Conte.
The Italian has widely been expected to be given the boot this summer after the 2016/17 Premier League champions endured a torrid defence of their title, finishing fifth.
Conte spent the majority of the season whinging about one thing or another, whether it be a lack of backing in the transfer market, or fatigue within his squad, nobody had expected the former Italy boss to be in charge for much beyond the end of last season.
Fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri has been the main man in the frame to succeed his fellow countryman, although Sky Sports Italy have reported that negotiations between Napoli and Chelsea regarding Sarri’s appointment as Conte’s potential replacement are in ‘deadlock.’
So with Chelsea having arranged pre-season preparations to start today, not many would have been expecting Antonio Conte to still be in charge.
While a number of his players have been away on international duty at the World Cup, those who have not been to Russia have returned to Chelsea’s Cobham training ground to start getting into shape once again.
Ross Barkley, Pedro, Cesc Fabregas, Tiemoue Bakayoko Marcos Alonso and David Luiz were among the big names to have returned.
Here is a video that the club have released of the players being put through their paces.