Antonio Conte faces big decisions even before taking charge at Chelsea

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Antonio Conte can begin planning for the future after being named Chelsea boss - and has a decision to make over captain John Terry.

Conte was on Monday named Jose Mourinho's permanent successor, signing a three-year deal to be Chelsea's head coach.

The 46-year-old will take up his role after managing Italy in this summer's European Championships, but he has big decisions to make beforehand.


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Terry announced in January he would be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, but the club insisted a contract offer could be forthcoming.

Should the 35-year-old leave, Conte will have to fill the void in defence and in leadership.

End of speculation

Conte said on "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."

His first game is at Pasadena's Rose Bowl against Liverpool in the International Champions Cup on July 27.

If Italy reach the final of Euro 2016 on July 10, Conte will have little more than a month to prepare for the Premier League season starting on August 13.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: "We are very pleased to have recruited one of the most highly regarded managers in world football and we are equally pleased to do so before the end of the current season. This aids our future planning."

Restoration man

Conte has the unenviable task of rebuilding a side which won the Premier League title last season before imploding this term.

Mourinho's second spell came to an end on December 17 after a miserable start to the season and a "palpable discord" with his players, according to Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo.

Guus Hiddink has restored stability in his second interim spell as boss - the Blues are 10th with seven games to go - but Chelsea face a rare season without a trophy and will be without Champions League football next term.

Chelsea's players, some of whom reportedly want to leave given the absence of Champions League football, may also be appeased by the end of the uncertainty over the identity of their boss.

Conte guided Juventus to three successive Serie A titles before taking over the Azzurri and is used to success himself. He is the eighth permanent boss appointed during Roman Abramovich's 13-year ownership. Mourinho was appointed twice.


Conte added: "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. My ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy."

Conte has experienced success, but also courted controversy. He was banned for 10 months in September 2012 for failing to report attempted match-fixing during his time as coach of Siena.

He pleaded his innocence and the sentence was reduced to a four-month touchline ban, but Conte faces a trial this month which will look into the allegations.

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Italy Football
Didier Drogba
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