Joey Barton believes Antonio Conte is ‘100 per cent desperate for the sack’ at Chelsea following his transfer disappointment at Stamford Bridge.
Conte’s future at the club has come under the spotlight in recent weeks after defeats to Bournemouth and Watford, which have seen the club slip out of the Premier League top four.
Following those results, the Blues are facing the possibility of losing three straight competitive games in one season for the first time in the Roman Abramovich era when they play West Brom on Monday evening.
Conte has admitted ahead of the West Brom clash that he has been ‘a disaster’ in the transfer market at Chelsea - the latest admission from the Italian who recently called for Chelsea bosses to publicly back him to stop the speculation surrounding his job.
But Barton believes the manager is instead actively looking to be fired, so he can move to a club where he will be given funds to build his own team.
“Conte is used to winning,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast .
“He’s had it all his own way at Juventus , they are the financial superpower in Italy and he out-spent everyone else.
“He thought that was going to be the same at Chelsea, and the first season is all bells and whistles, they weren’t in Europe and they win the title, everything is great.
“But in the second season he realises Man City, Man United and other sides like Liverpool have outspent them, and the toys have come out of the pram.
“If Conte was a top manager, as he claims to be, then he should stay at Chelsea and show that.”
Asked if he believes Conte wants to be sacked by the Blues, Barton added: “100 per cent! He 100 per cent wants the bullet.
“He signed a new deal in the summer and he’s got 18 months left on his contract, if he gets the bullet, the Italy job is available, if somebody gets Allegri from Juve he could go back there, he knows Inter and AC Milan have got a bit of dosh…
“I think he’s desperado for the sack.”
“He is DESPERADO for the sack!” @Joey7Barton explains why believes #CFC boss Antonio Conte is doing all he can get to get ditched by Roman Abramovich... https://t.co/AYsRgJWZEr pic.twitter.com/wBbHRUVmWa — Alan Brazil (@SportsBreakfast) February 12, 2018