After months of searching and contemplation, Chelsea has finally made the decision to appoint Antonio Conte as the permanent manager. The Italian would take over the managerial position after Euro 2016.
The 46-year-old has been the favourite to takeover after Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola. With Pep now in charge of Manchester City, Simeone staying at Atletico Madrid, Chelsea has opted for the former Juventus boss.
Following Jose Mourinho’s dismissal in December, who led the club to their first title in five years in the season 2014/15, owner Roman Abramovich had been on the lookout for an ideal replacement. Guss Hiddink was appointed as temporary replacement and will step down after season’s end, and will officially be replaced by Conte.
With his successful managerial career at Juventus, winning three consecutive Serie A titles, Conte took over Italy national team after the 2014 World Cup. He has now decided to return to club football after fulfilling his duties in the Euro 2016.
Conte will sign a three-year deal with the club, keeping him a Stamford Bridge until 2009. Chelsea’s official website has released Conte’s statement regarding his appointment. ‘I am very exc6ited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club,’ he said.
‘I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that. I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League.
‘Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.
‘I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.’
Conte will be the fifth Italian manager at Chelsea, after Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo.
The club’s director, Marina Granovskaia has also acknowledged Conte’s appointment. He said, ‘We are very pleased to have recruited one of the most highly regarded managers in world football and we are equally pleased to do so before the end of the current season. This aids our future planning.’
It is reported Conte will be bringing his own team as a backroom staff but nothing has been confirmed as yet. The appointments are yet to be confirmed by Chelsea, and so far the Blues have only announced the arrival of Conte.