Antonio Conte has finally spoken out on rumors linking him with the Real Madrid manager job, which caretaker boss Santiago Solari is on the verge of being handed full-time.
Conte was the early frontrunner for the job after Julen Lopetegui was sacked last month, but the concerns of some members of the playing squad – along with some behind the scenes wrangling and his complicated situation with Chelsea – led to him falling out of the running.
The Italian told Rai Sport (via Marca) on Monday that he will now stay out of management until next season. His words will come as a blow to his former employers in west London, who will have to pay the £11.3m owed to him for the final season of his contract if he remains out of work.
Conte also talked about his coaching philosophy in relation to Sergio Ramos' hints that he would have to work to earn the respect of the Real squad, saying: "Ramos' words? When a coach arrives at a team he must bring education and respect, something that he would expect from the players too. When this goes wrong, the problems begin.
"We Italian coaches have a great culture of work and when you join a new club you can't change everything, you must try and do it very gradually. Each coach must be a good tailor and adapt their beliefs to the human material that they have at their disposal."
On his future, he added: "For a coach of my level it's better to wait until June and not take a train to my career. I will wait until next season."