Italy head coach Antonio Conte has reportedly agreed basic terms to become Chelsea boss next season, after the Blues learnt that another managerial target, Massimiliano Allegri, is set to sign a new deal at Juventus.
Chelsea’s search for a new permanent manager to replace interim head coach Guus Hiddink has been all-but signed and sealed, with the deal for Conte just awaiting Roman Abramovich’s approval, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Italian sports daily claims the former Juventus boss is among the candidates to succeed Jose Mourinho along with Diego Simeone and Allegri.
Conte was sounded out about the Real Madrid job last year after the sacking of Rafa Benitez but he insisted he would not leave his country before Euro 2016.
The 46-year-old has been studying English and has set his sights on working in the Premier League after his national service.
Chelsea are reported, however, to have made Conte their No 1 target after Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta suggested Allegri is on the verge of signing a new deal in Italy.
“The conditions for Allegri’s contract renewal are all there,” Marotta told La Domenica Sportiva.
“Allegri has done very well. 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.”
On Monday, Allegri’s agent ruled out a move away from Juventus and the Italian champions prepared a new contract offer.
“Allegri is fine where he is,” said Giovanni Branchini, who went on to insist Juventus had grown to the level of Bayern, Real Madrid and Barcelona, the European giants of modern football. “The difficulties at the start of the season were inevitable.”