Italy manager Antonio Conte announced that he will step down as manager after this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament. While he did not confirm or deny this, it is highly expected Conte will be managing Chelsea next season.
The 46 year-old Conte started his managerial career after a 20 year playing career, mostly at Juventus. After his playing career, Conte went into management in Italy. After going from club to club, Conte found a home at the team where he made a name for himself as a player.
Joining Juventus as a manager in 2011, Conte won three consecutive Serie A titles and won the league in every year he was manager. After a 102-34-15 record at Juventus, Conte took over for the Italian National Team after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Conte is currently 9-5-2 as Italy’s manager and finished Euro qualifying unbeaten. Italy faces Belgium, Ireland and Sweden in the Euro 2016 tournament this upcoming summer.
As far as where Conte will be going, many signs point to him going to Chelsea and Chelsea is reportedly interested. Considering Conte is leaving Italy after two years and not even sticking around for World Cup Qualifying, shows that he has something lined up. Conte is also leaving subtle hints at his next move.
Antonio Conte drops big Chelsea hint: "I feel I should go back to being a club manager, to train with players every day." #CFC
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) 15 March 2016
If Conte does come to Chelsea, that could be a great move for both sides. Conte already has a great track record and has an opportunity to test himself in another league while Chelsea needs someone willing to change the team to be better equipped for the future.
My one concern is that looking at Conte’s track record, he doesn’t seem to like to manage at one place for very long. In Conte’s managerial career, he has stayed at Juventus for three years and that is the longest he has stayed in one place. In fairness to Conte, he doesn’t completely dismantle his teams after three seasons like Jose Mourinho seems to do. But if Chelsea is looking for a manager to change the team up to get them back to recent past glory, they should look long term in their next manager. On the other hand, Conte may see Chelsea as a destination spot and unless Barcelona or Real Madrid come calling, he isn’t leaving voluntarily so maybe it will work.
As of now, Conte will have at least seven games remaining as Italy manager, more if Italy makes the knockout stage of Euro 2016.