Antonio Conte.

Chelsea identify number one target to replace Conte at the end of the season [Times]

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Football News

Antonio Conte only joined Chelsea 18 months ago but his successor has already been identified.

The enigmatic Italian coach won the Premier League in his first season in England but has since clashed with the board over the club's transfer policy.

Conte quit Juventus in July 2014, disaffected at the failures of his club to land transfer targets, just two days into pre-season.

The 48-year-old coach was not happy over the summer when the Chelsea board elected not to sign some of his key transfer targets.

Fernando Llorente (32) and Antonio Candreva (30) were reportedly deemed too old by the Chelsea hierarchy.

"I do not aim high with my requests, especially as in my history I’ve rarely been given the players I asked for," Conte told Sky Italia earlier this week.

"I always ended up at clubs who were running an austerity programme.

"I just try to do my work. If someone arrives, good; if they don't, then that's fine too. I have to continue my work, either way."

Chelsea Training and Press Conference

Chelsea currently lie 3rd in the table, 16 points behind runaway league leaders Manchester City.

Conte's replacement identified

According to The Times, "Chelsea want Diego Simeone to replace Conte as head coach at the end of the season."

The Blues have no intention of sacking the former Juventus boss but - due to the friction between manager and board - there is an expectation that both parties will come to a mutual agreement on his exit in the summer.

The Times insist that Chelsea have already begun the search for Conte's replacement, with Simeone top of their wishlist.


The esteemed Argentine coach has spent seven years at Atletico Madrid in which he has won one La Liga title.

According to The Times, the energetic 47-year-old was considered before appointing Conte but insisted on guiding Atleti into their new Wanda Metropolitano stadium.

They moved at the start of the 2017/18 campaign.

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri is also on the shortlist while Massimiliano Allegri’s success at Juventus has also put him on Chelsea's radar, as per The Times.

SSC Napoli v Juventus FC - Serie A

Would Simeone be the right fit at Stamford Bridge? Let us know in the comments section below.

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