Italy coach Antonio Conte insisted he had no intention of leaving the helm of the national team despite being linked to Napoli.
The 45-year-old had been touted as a potential candidate to replace Rafael Benitez at Napoli after the Spaniard’s departure to Real Madrid.
But Conte said he wanted to see out his contract, which runs until mid-2016, with Italy.
“I would like to clarify that these rumours of me leaving the national team to join a club have never really bothered me, because I have a contract with the Italian federation until July 2016 and I want to stay here,” he said on Monday.
“I have seen my name linked with many clubs over the last year and not only have I never thought to leave the national team, but I’m pretty sure that the clubs never thought I would quit my job here.
“I decided last summer to become the Italian national team manager because I wanted to, and not for the reasons that some people believe.
“I’m very happy here and I like the job that I’m doing, I sense the federation is happy as well so I don’t see any reasons for leaving.”
Conte, whose team are preparing for a Euro 2016 qualifier against Croatia and friendly with Portugal, also paid tribute to Serie A champions Juventus.
Massimiliano Allegri replaced Conte at the helm and led Juve to a double, but they lost 3-1 to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday.
Conte admitted he was surprised by Juve’s continued success, as they added a fourth straight league title to the three he led them to.
“I have never underestimated anybody, especially people I worked with for three years in a row,” he said.
“I knew that Juventus had very good potential, having a great sport director and a great president, plus some wonderful players.
“I didn’t leave because I thought that the team couldn’t achieve something important. Saying that, I have to admit that Juventus had an incredible season, especially because they managed to reach the Champions League final – a result that I only believed to be possible in two or three years’ time and definitely not this season.
“They did something very extraordinary, the manager was great, as were the players and anybody else working with the first team.”
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