Chelsea are understood to be ‘open’ to talks with Antonio Conte over a sensational return to the club as manager.
Chelsea are conducting their search for a new head coach following the decision to sack Graham Potter last weekend, with the 47-year-old axed after less than seven months in charge with the west Londoners 11th in the Premier League table.
Julian Naglesmann and Luis Enrique have emerged as the early frontrunners to take the role, but the Independent are reporting that Conte has emerged as a shock candidate.
Chelsea are open to talks with the Italian, who led the club to Premier League and FA Cup success during his two-year spell at Stamford Bridge between 2016 and 2018.
Conte is available after leaving Spurs last month and Chelsea want to conduct a ‘thorough process’ before a decision on a new head coach is made. There is understood to be respect for Conte among the club’s board and talks could take place next week.
Another sensational turn possible as… Chelsea open to talks with Conte
– not a reflection on interviews so far (especially as Luis Enrique impressed) but attempt for "thorough process" + respect for last title winner/structure
– talks possible next weekhttps://t.co/s1TtBn87lh
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) April 5, 2023
The decision to speak with Conte is not a reflection on talks with other candidates and Enrique is said to have impressed after discussions with the Chelsea hierarchy this week. The Spaniard is open to taking charge in west London with the former Barcelona boss keen on the challenge of working in the Premier League, after leaving his position as Spain manager following the World Cup in Qatar.
Chelsea look set to appoint former manager Frank Lampard on an interim basis until the end of the season, as the Blues consider permanent candidates to replace Potter.
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