Antonio Conte is new Chelsea boss

Chelsea interim coach Guus Hiddink will hand over the Stamford Bridge reins to former Juventus coach Antonio Conte after this season. The Italian hopes to repeat his Serie A-winning exploits.
Chelsea interim coach Guus Hiddink will hand over the Stamford Bridge reins to former Juventus coach Antonio Conte after this season. The Italian hopes to repeat his Serie A-winning exploits. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

The Italian has reportedly wasted little time in mooting possible transfers for his new side

LONDON • Antonio Conte has signed a three-year contract worth £15 million (S$29 million) to become the new Chelsea manager and will join the English football club after helming Italy's Euro 2016 campaign.

The Italian had already announced his decision to step down as his national team's manager after the European Championship and the former Juventus midfielder and manager has been in talks with Chelsea officials for several weeks and has agreed a £5 million-a-year contract, which includes a £5 million bonus if he wins the Champions League.

"I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea. 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," said Conte, 46, in a statement yesterday.

"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."

Chelsea have already given Conte approval to bring his long-term assistants, Angelo Alessio and Massimo Carrera, with him to Stamford Bridge.

BRINGING SUCCESS TO CHELSEA

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.

ANTONIO CONTE, new Chelsea manager.

Steve Holland, the incumbent assistant first-team coach, is expected to remain on the coaching staff but there could also be roles for Paolo Bertelli, Mauro Sandreani and Conte's brother, Gianluca, at the London club.

Conte, who led Juventus to three successive titles up to 2014, replaced Cesare Prandelli on a two-year deal after Italy's group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup.

He will take over a Chelsea team who have endured the worst season of Roman Abramovich's 13-year ownership. After Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, Guus Hiddink was brought in as interim manager to hoist the reigning champions from the fringes of the relegation zone to the middle of the Premier League table.

Conte was expected to meet the Chelsea board late yesterday to discuss potential signings.

He has previously asked the club not to sell Juan Cuadrado to Juventus and wants to make the Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan one of his first signings when he takes over the club in the summer.

One major decision he will have governs the future of veteran club captain John Terry. The 35-year-old defender announced in January that he would be leaving at the end of the season only for the club to respond by saying he could yet be offered a new contract.

Several other players may have been considering their future at Chelsea given the lack of Champions League football next term. But the fact the Blues have signed a manager with Conte's track record could persuade them to stay put.

Conte will be the fifth Italian to manage Chelsea, following on from Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto di Matteo.

The 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."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2016, with the headline 'Conte is new Chelsea boss'. Print Edition | Subscribe