Italian reports suggest that Juventus boss Max Allegri could replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea

by Chloe Beresford / 12 January 2018, 08:56

His tenure at Chelsea has been a fiery one, and Antonio Conte’s latest bust-up with Jose Mourinho has only served to prove that the London club will constantly be dealing with drama from the Italian as long as he stays at the club.

Problems with homesickness, complaints over the Blues’ transfer policy have blighted his time at Stamford Bridge, but the former Juventus boss only knows one way to be.

The Turin-based outfit turned to then Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri after Conte left the Bianconeri to take on a role with the Italian national side, and since then things have been much calmer for the black and white half of the city. Gone are the type of rants that have been seen at Chelsea this season as Allegri has taken an altogether more rational approach.

Veteran Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli eloquently described the differences between the pair when interviewed back in 2015, the Tuscany-native having been a key part of the backline for both men.

“Conte was often our motivator but Allegri has worked on tactics and management and what has materialised is this team,” he told La Stampa.

“We have definitely grown as a squad, because in our first season we weren’t the strongest team, but we won – it was then that Conte gave us a strong mentality.”

It was these motivation skills that pushed Chelsea towards the Premier League title in 2016/17, but with a full-strength Pep Guardiola now to contend with, it is clear that the London club need more than just that. Whilst Conte’s famous bark is now attracting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, his side sit sixteen points off top spot with hopes of retaining the trophy all but disappeared.

Therefore it makes sense that Chelsea would turn to Allegri as his successor, a more rational and pensive Coach who has the tactical acumen to compete with Guardiola next season. A report in Thursday’s edition of Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claimed that Conte’s replacement at Juve is now being lined up to join the Blues this summer, a move that makes perfect sense.

While Juve didn’t even get out of the group stages of the Champions League during Conte’s final season in charge, Allegri would take them to the final the very next year. He would do so again in 2016/17 – his second final in three years – even if his side would ultimately lose to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

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Herein lies the problem for Chelsea, as the Bianconeri will be keeping a firm grasp on their Coach, unwilling to allow him to leave for England. “Allegri has two years remaining on his contract but he will stay a long time,” said Juve director general Beppe Marotta to Corriere dello Sport, referring to a contract extension that was only signed this summer. “The relationship that he has with us and we have with him is idyllic.”

The Italian report points to the fact that Allegri is an ambitious Coach who has admitted that he has been learning English, but in truth it would be a difficult operation to bring him to Chelsea.

As for Conte, should he leave London this summer as is widely reported, he will undoubtedly be linked with a return to the national side as they still seek a replacement for Giampiero Ventura. Gennaro Gattuso is by no means guaranteed to remain in his post as Milan boss either, meaning there may be an opening at San Siro for the former Juve man.

Chelsea only need look at the evolution of Juventus to see what could be gained by appointing Allegri as a successor for Conte, but only time will tell whether he is willing to make a leap towards England.


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