Antonio Conte Appointed New Chelsea Head Coach
Chelsea have confirmed Antonio Conte will become their new head coach following the conclusion of the 2016 European Championship.
Current Italy coach Conte signed a three-year deal with reigning Premier League champions on Monday and becomes the 10th boss to take charge of Chelsea since Roman Abramovich completed his takeover of the club in 2004.
The 46-year-old will officially take control after leading Italy at Euro 2016 in France in the summer.
“I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club. I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that,” he told Chelsea’s official website.
“I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League.
“Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.
“I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.”
Chelsea have been searching for a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho since sacking the Portuguese in November, with current interim boss Guus Hiddink stating on a number of occasions that he would not be staying at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.
Conte arrived in London on Sunday afternoon and met with Abramovich, chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia before signing a contract that will keep him at the club until 2019.
Sky in Italy reported that Conte’s representatives had been in talks with Chelsea since February, with initial discussions held with Granovskaia.
Granovskaia said: “We are very pleased to have recruited one of the most highly regarded managers in world football and we are equally pleased to do so before the end of the current season. This aids our future planning.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Guus Hiddink, who has done a great job since he joined us in December.”
Buck added: “Antonio Conte has a record of consistent success in his career as a manager and as a player.
“We look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge and are confident he will find all he needs to maintain that high standard of achievement.”
Conte won three Serie A titles with Juventus before resigning in 2014 and the guided the Italian national team to an unbeaten European Championship qualification campaign, winning seven and drawing three of their 10 matches.
Italy have been drawn in Group E for the finals, along with Belgium, Sweden and Republic of Ireland.