Conte expects Solanke to leave Chelsea
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte expects highly-rated striker Dominic Solanke to leave the club at the end of the season.
Solanke's contract expires in June and talks over a new deal have not reached a successful conclusion amid reports the 19-year-old, who has been heavily linked with Liverpool, has demanded a hefty wage increase.
The Premier League leaders will be entitled to compensation should Solanke move on, and Conte is not expecting the England Under-21 international to be at Stamford Bridge for the long-term.
He told a news conference ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie at Wolves: "I don't know [about his future], I should have a crystal ball to tell you.
"For now he is a Chelsea player, I don't know about his future. Is he leaving? I don't know, [but] I think this is his will."
Conte says for now Dominic Solanke is a Chelsea player but he does not know about the player's future. He thinks his will is to leave. #CFC-- Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 17, 2017
Solanke has been at Chelsea since joining their Under-8s side, and made his senior debut at the age of 17 when he appeared against Maribor in the Champions League in 2014.
He has not played for the first team since, however, but did score seven times in 25 appearances on loan at Vitesse Arnhem last season.
"It is best to ask him [why]. I think for a young player to stay in a great team like Chelsea is a great opportunity. But you have to respect his decision," added Conte.
"I have spoken with him to try to understand his will. It is normal.
"We must have a great respect for every decision. His contract expires in June and he has the option to stay at Chelsea or to go away."
Conte's men go into the fifth round clash at Molineux eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City in the Premier League and the Italian is hoping to further his side's bid to land a domestic double.
"I like to win every competition in every country," he said.
"For sure we want to win both. You have to have this mentality and this ambition.
"It won't be easy because in the league there are six teams very strong. Our target is to go into the next round and to face the next team.
"Tomorrow [Saturday] the game won't be easy. Don't forget they beat Liverpool and Stoke away, we must pay great attention.
"This team showed that they can beat great teams. I hope tomorrow the result will be different and Chelsea to go into the next round."