Saturday 21 July 2018

Antonio Conte in London to negotiate three-year Chelsea deal

Antonio Conte (PA)
Antonio Conte (PA)

Tom Sheen

Italy manager Antonio Conte is in London ahead of signing a deal to join Chelsea, according to reports in Italy.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport and broadcaster Sky Italia have both reported that the former Juventus manager, 46, is in the capital to negotiate terms with the Chelsea hierarchy.

The report from Gazzetta indicates that Conte would be offered a three-year deal worth €20million (approx £5-£6m a year), way short of the salary that former manager Jose Mourinho was said to be earning, which was at least £9m per annum and had been reported to be as much as £13m-per-year.

Conte, who will take charge after Euro 2016, is said to have arrived at noon on Sunday with his agent and brother Daniel taking care of the deal.

The former Juventus manager will bring a full back room team with him to Stamford Bridge. His other brother Gianluca will work as assistant manager, while coaches Angelo Alessio, Massimo Carrera and Mauro Sandreani and fitness coach Paolo Bertelli will all join the coaching staff.

Negotiations with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, owner Roman Abramovich's most trusted aid, began as far back as February.

Chelsea have been looking for a permanent manager since December, when they sacked Jose Mourinho for the second time, just six months after he won the club their first Premier League title in five months.

Guus Hiddink took charge on an interim basis, and has lost just three of his 20 matches so far, none in the Premier League.

However, the Blues appear certain to miss out on Champions League football next season and will have just their fourth trophyless season in the 13 campaigns of Abramovich's ownership.

Independent News Service

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