Antonio Conte is one of several managers in the frame to become the next permanent manager of Chelsea this summer - but the Italian may have given himself the edge following discussions with Stamford Bridge officials.
Every elite club will be vying for the signature of Paul Pogba this summer, but Chelsea have little chance of luring him to west London as things stand. The France international’s preference is to join either Barcelona or Real Madrid.
But that could all change if Chelsea hire Conte, who has made Pogba his number one transfer target if he lands the gig this summer, according to the Daily Mail.
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Conte is, of course, the manager who brought Pogba to Juventus from Manchester United in 2012 and provided him with the platform he required to showcase his immense talent.
Pogba will always feel a debt of gratitude to the former Juventus star, who has been coaching the Italian national team since August 2014, and would naturally be more enticed by the prospect of joining Chelsea if his old mentor is working at Stamford Bridge.
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Paul Pogba will cost £70m
Back in 2013, the 22-year-old said of Conte: ‘He is the perfect man to help me achieve my aims.’
Pogba would cost Chelsea around £70 million but, in return, the Premier League club would be securing the services of one of the world’s best midfielders and a player with the potential to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or one day.
Pogba wants to join Barcelona or Real Madrid
But even if Conte is the manager who Roman Abramovich turns to this summer, convincing Pogba not to join either of Spain’s big two will be a challenge.
It was reported by Mundo Deportivo - per Goal - that Pogba had told Messi: “I would love to play with you at [Barcelona]” after they met at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich last month.
Zidane is a huge fan
While the former Manchester United starlet is also understood to be an admirer of Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane - and the feeling is mutual.
"I think he's fantastic,” Zidane was quoted as saying by ESPN last June. “What I like about him is that he has everything. He's a complete player, who is also capable of scoring goals, because he gets forward a lot. In terms of his football qualities, he is extraordinary.
"A lot of clubs are interested. People are talking about Real too. But it's only natural, big clubs are interested in talented players. For him to improve, it's important to have a healthy environment around him, and I hope he'll have that all the time."
Chelsea could still miss out on Pogba if Conte arrives
It’s almost certain that Chelsea will miss out on Pogba if they fail to offer the manager’s job to Conte - but there’s a high chance they’ll still be snubbed even if the Italian coach does arrive.
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