Conte backs Cahill to succeed Terry as Chelsea captain

Conte has himself been linked with a return to Italy, with Inter reportedly prepared to make him the world's highest-paid head coach, but his focus is exclusively on Sunderland in their final Premier League match on Sunday and the FA Cup final with Arsenal to come.

The 36-year-old defender, who will leave Chelsea this summer after 22 years, made his first Premier League start since September and 716th Blues appearance in last Monday's win over Watford. For the appearances, for the years he's played for this club, and above all for his victories with this club.

"It will be a surprise, because it's important to take the best decision for him". Cahill, 31, has led Chelsea for the majority of the campaign with Terry, who is leaving the club at the end of the season, starting only five league games. "For this reason I think I have to take my time and to make the best decision for him", he told reporters. "We all know he prefers to play regularly and for this reason he chose to leave". The answer is yes, 100 per cent, just like I want all of our players to stay. "Then I think every single player, the coach and the manager, we have the time to discuss with our club". I think in the moment I called him to play he showed this. "John has all these characteristics".

Antonio Conte has refused to be drawn on talk of signing a new contract at Chelsea, insisting his focus remains on finishing the season strongly.

The 47-year-old maintained his line that his focus is on immediate targets - but he did say the plan is for his wife Elisabetta and daughter Vittoria to join him in London this summer.

"First of all it's important to repeat: I have two years' contract to go", Conte added. "It's important to underline this".

Costa has been heavily tipped to move to the lucrative Chinese Super League with Tianjin Quanjian, while Fabregas is a reported target for AC Milan's new wealthy owners. I think on Sunday we will see what happens.

"I am not sure celebratory is the right word (to describe the atmosphere), but we hope for a good atmosphere".

Courtois could win the Premier League Golden Glove this weekend.

"We have these two targets on Sunday".

  • Julie Sanders