It will shock no-one within football when Antonio Conte either walks out of Chelsea in the summer or the board decide to sack the Italian after two seasons in charge. Either way, supporters are expecting yet another new face in the dugout for next season.

After the international break, Chelsea have a number of big games coming up, both in the Premier League and the FA Cup. The results in both competitions could determine the manner of Conte’s departure.

Despite his problems with the board, Conte is still a very popular figure amongst the Stamford Bridge faithful. There is no doubt that many of those supporters would like Conte to stay on. But what factors could result in Conte staying at the club?

#1 Big name signings

One of the major issues Conte has had with the Chelsea board is not who they have been signing, but the players they have missed out on. It was widely reported that Romelu Lukaku, who headed to Manchester United from Everton in the summer, was one of those players he wanted to bring in. However, those wishes didn’t come to fruition, which irritated the former Italy boss, who made his feelings clear during press conferences. If his wishes are met this time around, he might just be tempted to stay.

#2 Big name players staying

Whether Conte is at the club next season or not, one big worry for the club’s supporters will be the future of their big name players, in particular, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. Added with his own choice of signings, if Conte could be guaranteed that his big hitters will remain at the club then he might just follow suit and stay put with them.

#3 More success on the field

At this moment in time, Chelsea sit outside of the top four with the big possibility that they could miss out on Champions League football next term. On top of that, they are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they will take on Mark Hughes’ Southampton. After the international break, if Conte can turn the club’s fortunes around, help them finish in the top four and win the FA Cup then that could decrease his chances of getting the sack. But it wouldn’t stop him walking out and sticking two fingers at those people he doesn’t like.

#4 The supporters

One thing that has remained constant throughout this campaign has been Conte’s affection for the club’s supporters and their love for their manager. It has to be said, amongst all the problems at Stamford Bridge this season, the supporters firmly staying behind their manager has probably been one of the reasons why he hasn’t walked away from the job. Conte may have a problem with those in the boardroom, but his relationship with those who sit in the stands could persuade him to stay on.

#5 Change of relationship with the board

If truth be told, most of the above would have to come true in order for Conte to be in the dugout at Chelsea next season. However, the biggest thing that would have to change, above all else, is Conte’s relationship with those in the suits. Although, many think that his relationship with the board in unrepairable, an unexpected change in the relationship, for the better, could be the biggest reason why Conte stays on for the following campaign.