It’s no secret anymore that Antonio Conte is set to take charge of managerial duties at Chelsea in summer. Conte is currently in charge of Italy national team and is expected to head to Stamford Bridge following the Euro Championships.
His move to the Blues has more-or-less been confirmed by former Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli. The Argentine manager, who was also in the running for the Chelsea job, claimed that he was Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s first choice to manage the club, but his lack of English resulted in the job going to Conte.
“I had a meeting with Chelsea’s owner, and he told me that I was the first option,” he told Argentine station Radio Vorterix. “I was about to be their new coach.
“But then Conte appeared, and it became a competition between us. It was him or me. I needed some time in order to improve my English, but this kind of club doesn’t give you that time.”
Massimiliano Allegri, Conte’s successor at Juventus, has also claimed that Conte would do a fine job at the West London club. “Italian coaches are very good,” said the Juventus manager.
“Apart from some exceptional figures like Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, we are among the best. I don’t know if Conte will go to Chelsea. I’m sure he’ll do well if he does.”
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte has himself announced that he will be returning to club management following the Euro Cup in summer.
“I must return to managing a club,” he said. “At this time all of our concentration is focused on the Euro where we will try with work and sacrifice to take advantage of our potential,” Conte wrote on his official Facebook page.
“Those who know me are aware that I will give everything I have. After that, I feel that I must return to managing a club with the opportunity of coaching every day. Thank you to President Taveccchio who is by my side on a daily basis on this great adventure.”
According to various reports, Conte has already identified transfer targets for his next job. He wants Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan and Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal to play for him next season and has asked the Chelsea board to explore the possibilities of signing them.
Conte won three successive Serie A titles during his spell with Juventus.