Antonio Conte has been confirmed as Chelsea’s new head coach and speculation over which players the Italian manager will look to sign this summer is intensifying.
How will Chelsea’s line-up look next season?
Well, Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport - per 101 Great Goals - believe they might have the answer. (Scroll down this page to see it.)
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Gazzetta have mocked up a 3-5-2 formation, with Thibaut Courtois in goal.
The Belgium international has suffered a dip in form since returning from his injury, but Conte is likely to keep the former Atletico Madrid loanee.
Pic: Conte's Chelsea XI?
Kurt Zouma is one of three central defenders, alongside Leonardo Bonucci, who Conte knows well from his time coaching Juventus, and Germany international Antonio Rudiger.
Cesc Fabregas retains his place in central midfield, alongside Juventus superstar Paul Pogba and AS Roma’s hard-working Belgium international Radja Nainggolan.
The midfield trio are flanked by wing-backs Cesar Azpilicueta and Kenedy.
And in attack, there’s no room for Diego Costa.
Instead, Gazzetta have Eden Hazard leading the line, potentially just behind Napoli centre-forward Gonzalo Higuain, who has scored 29 goals in Serie A this season.
Conte excited to begin work at Chelsea
Conte will take charge of Chelsea once Italy’s participation at this summer’s European Championships in France ends.
“I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club,” he told Chelsea’s website after being appointed the club’s new boss. “I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that.
“I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League.
“Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.
“I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.”
Chelsea have a tough end to season
In the meantime, it’s the responsibility of Guus Hiddink to ensure Chelsea finish as high up the Premier League table as possible.
The chance to qualify for the Europa League remains a possibility - the Blues are unbeaten in the Premier League since Jose Mourinho was sacked in December - but Hiddink’s men will need to do it the hard way.
In their remaining seven matches, they face Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and title favourites Leicester City on the final day of the season.
Will Antonio Conte’s starting line-up look like this? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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