Chelsea Line Up Summer Replacement For Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte wouldn't be the first Chelsea manager to be successful one season and then gone from the club at the end of the next. If he does indeed add his name to that list then Chelsea have a very high profile replacement in mind.
At the end of last season it would have seemed fanciful that just halfway through the next Antonio Conte and Chelsea's relationship would be such that the Italian could be leaving sometime in the near future.
Conte joined the club in the summer of 2016 after they'd just finished mid table. No one would have expected them to walk away with the title as easily as they did, or at all before the season began.
But there has always been an unease between manager and club. Even in his first transfer window he complained that they hadn't brought enough players in, a theme that continued this season too.
The Times report that whilst the Blues won't be sacking Conte during the season it is expected that the two parties will split by mutual consent at the end of the season and the club are eyeing a move for Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone as a replacement.
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Simeone has been at Atleti for seven years as manager, having previously played for the club, and helped them break the Real Madrid and Barcelona monopoly of La Liga by winning the league.
He has also helped the club become one of Europe's best teams, twice leading them to the final of the Champions League only to lose twice to Real in cruel circumstances.
The Argentine, who was involved in David Beckham's infamous sending off in the 98 World Cup, was considering leaving after that second final loss but he decided to stay to take the club into their new stadium.
Conte's contract only runs until the summer of 2019, despite signing a new deal at the end of last season, and is most likely to return to Italy, although a move to PSG could also interest him.
There is a chance the former Juventus manager could stay at Stamford Bridge but it does feel like this uneasy relationship is closer to the end than the beginning right now.
Would Simeone be a good appointment?
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