Antonio Conte is set to go toe to toe with Chelsea over the lucrative final year of his £9m-per-year contract after refusing to quit the club.
The Italian appears increasingly likely to depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the season but the Blues will be forced to pay out the remainder of his contract should Conte refuse to walk and they wish to instate a new manager.
Chelsea have struggled to defend their Premier League title this season and with disagreements over transfers Conte is said to have grown frustrated with the club, but according The Mirror, the 48-year-old has made it clear that he will not quit and he has yet to receive a concrete job offer.
Conte will continue to publicly insist that he wants to stay at the club despite the pressure continuing to rise amid the Blues' preparations for the FA Cup final and an uphill battle to secure a top four position.
Although Chelsea will be resistant to part with £9m should they choose to cut ties with Conte, the lure of potential replacements in Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, Juventus manager Max Allegri and former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique could prove too tempting to turn down.
Sarri is the bookies' front runner, with some claiming a managerial swap between the two Italian bosses at Napoli and Chelsea could even happen. However, the standoff between Conte and the Blues could make any move a long drawn out process.
Conte has no clear path beyond Chelsea after a return as Italy national manager was all but ruled out after Roberto Mancini was instate as the favourite, whilst Paris Saint-Germain are expected to appoint former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel.