Reports in the British media claim that Italy national team manager Antonio Conte is the frontrunner to replace current Chelsea FC manager Jos Mourinho, if a decision is made to sack the Portuguese.

 

Although it was believed the worst of Chelsea FC’s poor form was behind them following the creditable 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur, a defeat at home to lowly Bournemouth has once again increased speculation about the possible sacking of manager Jos Mourinho.

If the Portuguese were to be sacked, reports in the British media claim that Italy national team manager Antonio Conte is in pole position to be the Portuguese’s replacement, even though the move will have to be made after the 2016 European Championship next summer.

Conte the frontrunner for Chelsea FC job

An . Independent exclusive by Mark Ogden suggests that former Juventus manager Antonio Conte could be first on the list of managers to replace Mourinho, if a decision was made to sack the Portuguese.

The report claims that although Roman Abramovich still backs Mourinho and wants to give the 52-year-old every chance to turn things around, a defeat at home to FC Porto on Wednesday — and the Blues’ consequent exit from the UEFA Champions League — could force the owner’s hand.

Conte reportedly has “admirers within the Chelsea hierarchy”, and although he is fully committed to the Italy national team ahead of the 2016 EUROs, he is open to a move to the Premier League following that.

Italian managers and Chelsea FC seem to go hand in hand

Antonio Conte has never managed outside of Italy thus far, but Chelsea FC and Italian managers seem to go hand in hand. Over the past couple of decades, the Blues have been managed by the likes of Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo.

While Vialli and Ranieri were before the time of Roman Abramovich, the success they brought to the club at the time was commendable. Ancelotti, on the other hand, is the only Chelsea FC manager other than Mourinho to win the Premier League. Meanwhile, Di Matteo famously won the FA Cup and the club’s maiden UEFA Champions League crown in 2012.

Of all the managers available or likely to be available next summer, it would be a surprise if the Blues were to go after someone untested in the Premier League such as Conte. Of course, there is also the possibility of Mourinho turning things around, but time is running out for the Portuguese.