By 90Min
November 15, 2017

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been named as the Italian FA's top choice to replace Gian Piero Ventura as coach of the national team after their shock failure to qualify for next summer's World Cup. 

The Blues boss was previously one Simone Zaza penalty from a European Championships semi-final berth after knocking out Spain in the round of 16, and has long been rumoured to be unhappy at Stamford Bridge. 

Disagreements and frustration over transfers in the summer - coupled with an acrimonious falling out with striker Diego Costa - have left Conte being linked with more or less every major vacant job in Italy, and the Mirror report that his history of helping a middling Italian squad overachieve has made him the name at the top of his home FA's target list. 

The 48-year-old won the Premier League in his first season at Chelsea, Costa and Eden Hazard helping to fire the Blues to the title with Conte's trusted tactical setup of three central defenders and a pair of hard-working wing-backs. 

Italy legend Alessandro del Piero backed the former Juve man for the job in the wake of Monday night's debacle, saying: "He did great with Juve of course and a great job with the national team. We would love to have him back in Italy, of course, because he is a great coach. He would improve any team and this is what he did with Chelsea last season and what he did with Juve as well.

"We had some problems and he fixed it, then won the title. He has some amazing qualities and that's why he's coaching the best teams in the world. I hope he will have a great period with Chelsea and then maybe one day come back."

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