Italian coaching chief Renzo Ulivieri has criticised Chelsea for a total lack of “education and manners” over their pursuit of Antonio Conte.
The Italian football federation (FIGC) announced on Tuesday that Italy coach Conte will leave his role at the end of Euro 2016, with the former Juventus subsequently confirming that he plans to return to club football.
Although there has been no official confirmation that his next destination will be at Chelsea, the Blues are expected to confirm Conte’s appointment in the coming days.
The coach has already been making transfer plans at Stamford Bridge and was linked with four big-money signings in Wednesday’s Paper Talk.
But Chelsea’s courting of the coach has drawn criticism from the chairman of the Italian Football Coaches Association, who admitted in an interview with The Times that they always expected him to leave at the end of his contract.
“It was known that Conte would leave the national team,” Ulivieri said. “The thing I regret, though, is that a club contacts the coach of a national federation without any warning.
“It shows we are in a world which is failing to demonstrate even a minimum amount of education and manners.”
Chelsea are set for a summer overhaul after a dismal defence of their Premier League title raised questions over their recruitment efforts over the last year, with the likes of Radamel Falcao, Pedro, Baba Rahman, Papy Djilobodji and Alexandre Pato all having struggled to live up to expectations.
Tuttomercatoweb has reported that Chelsea have been in talks with Roma’s director of sport, Walter Sabatini, over a role in the new setup for several months.
Massimiliano Allegri, Conte’s successor at Juventus, has backed his compatriot to succeed if he does take over at Stamford Bridge.
“Italian coaches are very good,” he told his prematch news conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich.
“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.”