Friday 21 October 2016

Antonio Conte one meeting with Roman Abramovich away from Chelsea job

Matt Law

Published 29/02/2016 | 17:10

Antonio Conte will leave Italy at the end of Euro 2016
Antonio Conte will leave Italy at the end of Euro 2016

Roman Abramovich will hold a final face-to-face meeting with Antonio Conte before signing off his appointment as Chelsea’s next permanent manager.

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But the Italian has been warned he will struggle at Stamford Bridge if he does not fully grasp the language by former England manager Fabio Capello.

Conte is close to agreeing a three-year deal to take over as Chelsea manager when his contract as Italy’s head coach expires after the European Championships.

Negotiations have so far been led by director Marina Granovskaia and Chelsea owner Abramovich is now poised to meet with Conte in Monte Carlo to shake hands on an agreement.

Conte ideally wants confirmation of the fact he has landed the Chelsea job before Italy’s next game against Spain on March 24.

It is understood Conte has been learning English ahead of his anticipated move to Chelsea and Capello believes it is vital that the 46-year-old will be able to communicate effectively with his new squad.

Capello struggled to master the English language during his four years as England manager and encountered even bigger communication problems when he took over the Russian national team in 2012.

Chelsea have seen first-hand how difficult it can be for players to operate under a manager who cannot speak good English, following Luiz Felipe Scolari’s ill-fated six months in charge.

“Conte is preparing for Chelsea,” said Capello. “He has the time to arrive and train Chelsea in the best way, as this is an important club.

“I think the most important thing will be the team he is able to put on the field. He needs defenders and there aren’t that many around.

 “His communication with the players will also be fundamental. I myself had a difficult experience in Russia where I always had to speak through a translator.

“It was not easy, because the players always expect that extra word from the coach, the decisive statement to let you understand or change something.”

Chelsea’s move for Conte has forced the Italian Football Federation to consider who may succeed the former Juventus manager after the Euros.

With Carlo Ancelotti joining Bayern Munich at the end of the season, Italian sources believe Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri will be on the shortlist along with former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.

Ranieri signed a three-year contract at Leicester last summer and the incredible job he has done in leading the Foxes to the top of the Premier League table has not gone unnoticed in his home country.

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