Former Juventus manager Antonio Conte has emerged as the top candidate to replace Jose Mourinho on the long term as the club looks to secure his services in the summer.
Conte, 46, is currently the coach of the Italian national team and will lead Italy to the Euros in France in the summer, after which he is expected to arrive at Stamford Bridge.
It is believed he held preliminary talks with Chelsea’s representatives shortly before Christmas and both parties are expected to discuss further before the Euros as Conte is said to be interested with the prospect of working in England.
Chelsea’s first choice remain Pep Guardiola, but the club is beginning to accept the Bayern Munich boss would join either Manchester City or Manchester United and they are also believed to have Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino in their sights.
Conte’s deal with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) ends after the Euros and he has already started taking English lessons with a view to finalizing a move to Stamford Bridge.