Antonio Conte: Chelsea and I 'have the same idea' over club's future direction

LONDON -- Antonio Conte has confirmed that Chelsea are already planning for a busy summer in the transfer market as he prepares to take on Arsenal in Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley, but insists that he and the club's hierarchy "have the same idea" for the future development of his squad.

Chelsea will complete a Premier League and FA Cup double if they can defeat the Gunners but know that they will return to the Champions League football as top seeds next season regardless of the result at Wembley.

And though they have a final hurdle before fully turning their attention to reinforcing their squad, Conte says he does not expect any differences of opinion when it comes to summer moves.

"We have to finish this season, but we've started to work for the next season," the manager said on Friday. "I think that we have the same point of view.

"For sure, we'll try to improve our squad for next season because we have to face an important competition in the Champions League. But I think the club and me, we have the same point of view on this."

Conte, who won the Premier League in his first return to club management since leading Juventus to three straight Serie A titles from 2012-14, also said he had no plans to move on to new challenges, even after the expiry of his current contract.

"At the moment, my situation is very clear. I have two more years' contract with the club," he said. "Then, if the club give me the possibility to stay here and to extend my contract, for sure I am available to do this. But we have the same idea about the future.

"The way we have to do things together, to improve the squad and the team. But, I repeat, I'm happy for this season and am happy to stay here. I hope to stay here for many years."

A day after former Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli said Conte could stay on for 25 years, Conte called a long tenure "the best solution" to build up any club.

"It would be great to do this," he said about staying for a quarter-century. "I know very well that, in this modern football, it's very difficult to stay a long time at the same club. But for sure if I have the opportunity to work for many years, you can improve your work.

"For a coach, that's the best solution: to stay for a long time in the same club and build, with the club, something important. But you know very well that modern football is dangerous. Our job depends a lot on the results.

"I think the only way that I know, to convince the club I should stay a long time, is to work very hard with my players. For sure, that is my hope."

On Saturday, Conte will come up against a manager with that exact pedigree, as Arsene Wenger leads out Arsenal for what could be the final time in his 22 years in charge.

Wenger has been the target of fans' criticism seemingly all season long and the FA Cup could be his last chance to salvage a season that saw the Gunners fail to finish in the top four, but Conte said he didn't expect his counterpart to go out quietly.

"For sure, I don't trust that tomorrow will be the last game for Arsene," Conte said. "I think he deserves to work with Arsenal because he showed, in these 20 years, he is a good manager. He did a good job. Only this season they missed out on the Champions League. In England, this target, sometimes you can undervalue this.

"But now, the Champions League is a good target. Arsenal played in it for 19 years in a row, in this competition. That shows his work is very good. He won titles with his team. But, I repeat, modern football... we have to pay great attention."