It’s fair to say Roman Abramovich has had a complex relationship with his numerous Chelsea managers over the years.
The Russian owner has overseen the reigns of 12 bosses – including caretakers – with Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink both enjoying two spells in charge.
So far, it’s unclear just how well Antonio Conte gets on with the billionaire.
The former Italy manager came under pressure back in September after successive defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, but uncharacteristically, Abramovich showed patience.
Since then, Conte has masterminded an incredible title bid. Chelsea have looked like champions for a long time, with only Tottenham anywhere close to them – and the Lilywhites trail the Blues by 10 points.
That kind of form is likely to see Conte rewarded with a new contract.
According to the Times, though, he has taken the unusual step of asking the board to hold fire.
The 47-year-old doesn’t want any distractions between now and the end of the season, so he has also asked for negotiations with Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, and Thibaut Courtois to be rescheduled to the summer.
That could prove to be a mistake, with all three of those players attracting interest from elsewhere. Yet, if Chelsea can win the league by a considerable margin, there should be no reason for them to quit Stamford Bridge.