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Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has claimed under-pressure Antonio Conte is "one of the best coaches around" and has urged the Blues' hierarchy to clear the air with the Italian manager to avoid losing him.

Conte emphatically guided Chelsea to a fifth Premier League title in his maiden year at Stamford Bridge, but after a run of uninspiring performances this season, things have turned sour in west London.

The former Juventus coach has publicly vented his anger at the Chelsea board, claiming that he's been shown a lack of support, especially in the past two transfer windows.


Ex-Chelsea forward Gianfranco Zola expressed his view on the situation at Stamford Bridge, and feels that Conte and the club need to fix the issues that exist between them to ensure that the 48-year-old remains as Chelsea boss next season.

Asked if Conte will leave in the summer, Zola told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “I really hope not, because I think he is an asset for the club. He’s a good coach, without doubt - he’s actually one of the best around. 

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“At the moment there are certainly some problems. If the club and manager want to continue - and I think that will be good for the club - they should sort them [the problems] out because the competition out there is so incredible. There is no league in the world where you see teams get so much better every year - it’s so competitive off the pitch and on the pitch.”


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Although things may seem tense at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea's season is far from over as they still have the FA Cup to play for - where they face Southampton in the semi-final - and they are still pushing for a top four spot.

Conte's men sit in fifth place in the Premier League, five points behind Tottenham who fill the final Champions League place. However, the gap could be closed to two points when the Blues host Spurs in a crucial league clash on Sunday.