Antonio Conte set for talks over Chelsea exit

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is Italy’s first choice to become their new national coach in a role that he left in 2016.

The 47-year-old coached his team for two years between 2014 and 2016 and guided the Azzurri to a quarter-final finish at the Euros in France.

Conte then departed for Chelsea, where he won the Premier League during his debut campaign but the Italian’s second term at Stamford Bridge has been far from straightforward.

Italy sacked Gian Piero Ventura in November after the nation failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup and AC Milan legend Alessandro Costacurta.

‘I haven’t chosen yet but I think Conte is the one who could do the best,’ Costacurta, the Italian football association’s vice-commissioner, said.

‘I’ll definitely talk with him in a couple of months.’

The likes of Roberto Mancini and Carlo Ancelotti have also been tipped for the job and Italy are keen to make an appointment in the coming months.

However, Costacurta believes Conte’s greater experience of international football puts him above the other candidates.

‘[Conte] has already shown he knows how to be national team coach while the others haven’t yet,’ continued Constacurta.

‘That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be happy with Mancini or with Ancelotti – although [Ancelotti] seems to have removed himself from consideration.’

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