Chelsea will keep faith with manager Antonio Conte for the long term, according to the club’s former captain John Terry.
Conte, who led the Blues to the Premier League title in his first season in charge last term, has found his future the subject of speculation this campaign.
But Terry, who ended a 19-year Stamford Bridge career by moving to Aston Villa in the summer, believes Chelsea know the Italian’s worth.
“I think they see him as a long-term manager and, having worked with him, I have to say the way he dealt with me and the way he deals with players and the tactical side of things he brings to the game is first class,” he said. “I do think they will stick with him long term.”
Conte, who is under contract until 2019, signed an improved deal last summer, although it was not an extension to the three-year agreement he penned he 2016.
Chelsea lie in third place in the table, 14 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City and three behind Manchester United.
But Terry believes Chelsea still have the second best squad in the division.
“They’ve got some great individual players, great going forward, great defensively, a great midfield and I think, bar City that are setting the tone and the tempo of the Premier League, the best squad of players in the Premier League,” he said.
Terry also gave his backing to one of his former coaches at Chelsea, Paul Clement, whose Swansea side are fighting against relegation.
The former England captain revealed he held talks with Clement over the summer and was tempted by a move to the Swans, despite his insistence he could never play for one of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals.
“(Clement is a) great man manager, someone I spoke to personally over the summer, just a great manger and a really good guy as well,” said Terry.
“He needs a bit of time, he needs the transfer window to get a few more players in, the right man for the job for sure.
“I didn’t want to play in the Prem, that was a big thing for me, I didn’t want to play against Chelsea, but (I gave) Clem the service because I felt I owed that to him, what he had done for me and how he helped me growing up.
“We met and, having not wanted to play against Chelsea, I have to say he pushed me really close, because the way he dealt with me and the process was excellent. But in the end I couldn’t do it.”