Antonio Conte odds-on favourite to become new Chelsea manager

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Sky Italia's Valentina Fass says Chelsea have held talks with Antonio Conte about becoming their new boss, but the deal has not been finalised

Antonio Conte is the odds-on favourite to become the next Chelsea manager, following reports in Italy he has agreed a deal in principle to join the Blues in the summer.

Sky Sports News HQ understands Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo travelled to Italy on Tuesday and will be present at Juventus' Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich, with Conte also due to attend. 

Conte on his way?

Conte on his way?

Sky Bet's next Chelsea manager odds

SSN HQ are currently investigating the claim the Italy coach has agreed a two-year deal to become the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho.

Conte is currently priced 8/13 with Sky Bet to be Chelsea manager on the first day of next season.

Italy coach Antonio Conte before a friendly match Italy vs England at the Juventus Stadium
Image: Conte is the bookmakers' favourite to become the next Chelsea manager

His contract with Italy expires after the 2016 European Championship in the summer and he will be free to move to Stamford Bridge, with no compensation needed to be paid to the Italian Football Federation.  

Sky Italia's Valentina Fass told SSN HQ that Conte had been linked with Chelsea for some time and a deal between the two was reported to be close to being agreed before Christmas. 

Roman Abramovich, Jose Mourinho, Chelsea, October 2014
Image: Roman Abramovich (left) is looking to appoint a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho

However, she said nothing had been signed, adding: "We know that by March, Chelsea want to decide who their manager for next year will be - Conte seems to be ahead in the talks but nothing has been decided yet.

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Would Conte fit Chelsea?

Would Conte fit Chelsea?

Would Conte be a good fit at the Bridge?

"There are still other contenders. [Diego] Simeone, even though it looks like he wants to stay at Atletico Madrid, is one of the names on the list still, also [Max] Allegri, Juventus manager, is on the list."

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Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant has backed Conte for a move to the Premier League

If Conte does join Chelsea, he will become the 10th manager to work under owner Roman Abramovich since the Russian billionaire acquired the club from Ken Bates in 2004.

Guus Hiddink, who replaced Mourinho on an interim basis in December, has already stated his intention to retire from management at the end of the season, ruling himself out of taking the role permanently. 

Chelsea's Guus Hiddink during a training session
Image: Guus Hiddink has ruled himself out of taking the Chelsea job on a permanent basis

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