Italy boss Antonio Conte has revealed that he will quit his role as national team boss after Euro 2016 in France.
The former-Juventus boss is looking to get back into club management and is reportedly close to agreeing a deal to join reigning Premier League champions Chelsea.
The Blues campaign was effectively ended with a 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Everton on Saturday.
Chelsea now have little to play but pride, and most Chelsea fans will now be looking to the summer and the arrival of a new boss.
Conte wants a club management role
Conte’s announcement seems ominous for Chelsea and their supporters. This comes on the back of Sky Italy reporting in February that the Italian was in talks with Chelsea over a three-year-deal at Stamford Bridge.
On his future, Conte told reporters: “At the moment, my focus is on the Euros, where we’ll try with hard work and sacrifice to do our best at the tournament,”
“Anyone who knows me, knows I will give my total commitment to this. I feel I should go back to being a club manager, to have the chance to train with players every day.
“I want to thank the president and everyone at the federation who has followed me in this wonderful adventure.”
All the indications suggest that the club that Conte will be managing will be Chelsea, with the Italy boss currently odds of 1/14 to be the Blues boss on the first day of next season.
A success eventually
Conte experienced mixed fortunes in his early managerial career with the likes of Arezzo, Bari and Atalanta prior to moving to Juventus where he picked up three straight Serie A titles among other honours, before being appointed the boss of the Azzurri.
Conte guided Italy to Euro 2016 qualification, with seven win and three draws from their qualifying campaign. The Azzurri’s performances were solid, rather than spectacular though. However, he got the job done and Italy will be at the Euros.
It is his work at Juventus that has helped earn him a reputation as a boss capable of managing at the top level. Conte took a side that had just finished seventh in Serie A and turned them into champions, going unbeaten in the process.
That is the sort of thing that will offer encouragement to Chelsea fans, who will be looking for any hope of rebuilding this summer.
Chelsea needs a fresh start this summer
Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea are in need of a fresh start in the summer. A disastrous campaign has seen the Blues languishing in midtable of the Premier League table and out of the Champions League in the round of 16 yet again.
The Chelsea squad is aging and many players in their squad look set to be moved on this summer. Interim boss Guus Hiddink has stated Chelsea are a club in transition, which the Dutchman would know better than most.
The club captain John Terry could be the biggest exit from the club, while a host of other players are likely to leave Stamford Bridge.
Conte could be just the man to revive the clubs the fortunes in the next couple of years. He did a similar rebuilding job at Juventus and he will be given far larger resources and financial backing at Chelsea if he is appointed as Blues boss.
Conte has never been a boss who needed big resources to create a winning team or find a player in the transfer market that he could turn into a star. He was the man who brought French midfielder Paul Pogba to Turin, which worked out pretty well.
Players that have played for Conte seem to have nothing but good things to say about the Italian. He is relatively tactically astute and it seems like he would thrive in the English top-flight.
If he is appointed then he will have the challenge of trying to better the much-lauded Pep Guardiola, who himself has work to do at City. If Conte becomes Blues boss, then judging from his performance as Juventus boss he will not let anybody down.
Is Antonio Conte the right choice for next Chelsea boss?