Conte to take over at Stamford Bridge?
Italy manager Antonio Conte has reportedly agreed a deal to take over as Chelsea manager at the end of the season.
The former Juventus boss is now odds on at 8/13 with Skybet to take the Stamford Bridge hotseat at the end of the season and become the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho. According to Sky Italia, negotiations have been going on since before Christmas and a deal now looks to be close.
Conte's contract with the Italian national team expires after Euro 2016, meaning he will be free to leave after the tournament with Chelsea not required to pay any compensation. The Blues had also previously targeted Diego Simeone but it is believed the Argentinian favours staying with Atletico Madrid, although still relatively short at 5/2 with Paddy Power. Current Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has also been linked with the vacancy and but it now appears that Conte will be the next man in charge, with odds on Allegri out a 14/1 also with Paddy Power.
Guus Hiddink has done a job in interim charge but has said that he does not want the job on a permanent basis. So if Conte is to be Roman Abramovich's 10th Chelsea manager, what will he bring to Stamford Bridge? The former Juventus midfielder won three straight Serie A titles whilst in charge of his old club including an entire league campaign without defeat.
If the deal is to go ahead, it is believed that all parties would want an announcement to be made prior to Euro 2016 so that there would be no ongoing speculation that may affect Italy's chances of success.