In a bit of a surprise Chelsea have agreed a ‘deal in principle’ for Italy boss Antonio Conte to become their new manager according to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Conte’s contract with Italy expires at the end of Euro 2016 and the 46-year-old wants to return to club management.
The decision to settle on Conte is a bit of a surprise because Conte could conceivable miss the first two weeks of preseason as the Euros don’t end until 10 July.
That late date has to put a wrench in Chelsea’s summer transfer plans as it Conte will not have a handle on what he needs until sometime in early August, leaving it very late in the window to add any sort of major signing.
While Conte has a great record as Juventus manager, winning three Serie A titles, he is Roman Abramovich fourth or fifth choice.
Top choice was obviously Pep Guardiola who Abramovich wanted after Mourinho was sacked in December but lost out to Manchester City, with the Bayern Munich manager heading for the Etihad Stadium in the summer.
Next up was current Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri but he is set to reject Chelsea’s advances and stay with the Italian champions as they prepare to offer him a new contract.
Juventus sporting director, Giuseppe Marotta, said this week:
‘The conditions for Allegri’s contract renewal are all there. The cycle has just started with him and I believe we can continue with him.
‘On top of that, finding a club better than Juventus isn’t easy. I think that he can still get great pleasure from this team, thus there is no Allegri problem.’
Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone was also on the list but the Argentine has decided to stay in Madrid as they prepare to move into their new 69,000-seater stadium and compete with Barcelona and Real Madrid for the Spanish title.
What do you think of Conte are the new Chelsea manager? Is he a good choice?