Serie A side AC Milan are said to have decided that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is the man they want in charge of the club next season.
The Italian led the Blues to the summit of the Premier League last term, following a dismal campaign in which they ended up in the 10th spot on the table. And teams in his homeland have made him a managerial target, with Inter Milan reported as being interested in taking him under their employ during the summer.
According to a Eurosport journalist going by handle GuillaumeMP on Twitter and supposedly quoting Sky, Milan made contact with Conte two weeks ago through intermediaries. The plan is to hire Conte at the end of the season, but if they decide to sack Vincenzo Montella before that point, they will attempt to sign the Chelsea gaffer then.
Sky : Il Milan ha deciso, vuole Antonio Conte per la stagione 2018-2019. Primi contatti due settimane fa tramite intermediari (Di Stefano)— GuillaumeMP (@Guillaumemp) November 5, 2017
Translation: "Sky: Milan decided, wants Antonio Conte for the season 2018-2019. First contacts two weeks ago through intermediaries."
Conte is believed to have come close to leaving Chelsea before the start of the season after falling out with the board over transfers. The former Italy boss reportedly asked for more control, and completely cut contact with the board for two weeks while on holiday after his request fell on deaf ears.
Big celebration from Antonio Conte. Looked like the passionate man we saw last season. Buzzing!— Chelsea HQ (@Chelsea_HQ) November 5, 2017
Since then, Conte has been under all sorts of pressure, with results mostly not going his way. He watched the Blues fall to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of AS Roma in the Champions League during the week, but they've bounced back quite admirably, beating Manchester United 1-0 at home on Sunday.
Commenting on the links after the victory on Sunday night, however, the Italian told Sky Sports Italia, “Milan? Leave it out...
"I am only concentrated on Chelsea and purely want to do what is best for Chelsea."
Blues fans will have to wait and see if his words are true.