It’s fair to say Antonio Conte left an ambiguous legacy at Chelsea.
In his first season, the Italian guided the Blues to the Premier League title after they finished tenth the campaign prior, setting a host of club and competition records in the process.
But on the other hand, Conte spent much of his second year at Stamford Bridge using the media to complain about a lack of support and ambition in the transfer market.
His dissatisfaction seemed to permeate through the Chelsea squad, too.
Throughout the 2017-18 season, the champions were almost completely bereft of the cohesion and desire that had made them such a force under Conte.
The Londoners suffered back-to-back league defeats on three occasions, ending their woeful title defence with a total of ten losses - the most in six years, barring the disastrous 2015-16 campaign that cost Jose Mourinho his job.
Conte watched his men endure a 3-0 hammering at the hands of Newcastle United on the final day, and unsurprisingly, it was his final match in charge.
The 49-year-old has since been out of work; however, with rumours of Real Madrid sniffing around to replace interim boss Santiago Solari, it was bound to be a topic of discussion in his interview with Sky Sports on Monday.
CONTE RESPONDS TO REAL MADRID LINKS
"Real Madrid? As I see it, it is better to wait until the end of the season than to take a train running now," Conte said, per the Sun.
"I want to wait for June and start again with a new project. In three months I could change my mind and deny everything, but I've always thought of it this way.”
When asked if returning to Juventus appeals to him, he added: “If I think about the fact that I could train Ronaldo? No, I do not think about it.
"I'm happy with the players I've trained and the things I've won. The club continues to grow and is doing a great job at the business level, with huge purchases and a great deal for Allegri.
"Of course, I am Italian and I like to live and train in Italy, obviously, at the moment there is an incredible dominance of Juventus, but the pursuers are they are strengthening year after year.”
THE IMPACT ON CHELSEA
Some Chelsea fans couldn’t care less which direction Conte takes next, but the fact is the current state of affairs leaves him very much connected to the club.
The former Italy manager has continued receiving his outstanding wages, as per the terms of the two-year contract extension he signed in July 2017.
According to the Sun, that means Conte stands to collect another £11.3 million from Chelsea without lifting a finger.
No wonder he’s content to bide his time before returning to the touchline, wherever that may be.