Roman Abramovich wants Conte’s Premier League rival to be Chelsea’s next manager

Chelsea have made Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino their first-choice candidate to replace Antonio Conte as manager, according to reports.

Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in England but his position is now under threat following an inconsistent campaign.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino arrives for the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales on March 17, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Chelsea could still win the FA Cup this term but they are already out of the Champions League and face an uphill battle to finish in the top four.

Conte has also been at the centre of bust-ups with Diego Costa and David Luiz, while the Italian has also publicly criticsed Chelsea’s hierarchy over their transfer policy.

TURIN, ITALY – FEBRUARY 13: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino gestures during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur at Allianz Stadium on February 13, 2018 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Chelsea are exploring alternatives to Conte and reports have claimed that the club have already held discussions with Luis Enrique and Thomas Tuchel.

But according to The Sun, Pochettino is Chelsea’s top choice and Roman Abramovich has been impressed with the Argentine’s work at Spurs.

The report claims that Abramovich will enquire about Pochettino’s availability, although Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will strive to keep the 46-year-old.

Conte, meanwhile, admitted for the first time ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Tottenham that he is unsure if he will remain as manager.

‘I don’t know. I must be honest, I don’t know,’ said the Italian.

‘This is not my problem. It’s a problem for the club, not me.’

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