What next for former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte?

by Jack Kitson / 13 July 2018, 15:38

The saga is over. Well at least part of it is, as Chelsea have today (Friday) confirmed that Antonio Conte has left his position.

Although, the club’s official statement wasn’t exactly drenched in admiration towards a manager that led the Blues to a Premier League title and FA Cup triumph.

As Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) pointed out on Twitter, the club's statement had less words (61) than Conte had wins (69) during his two-year spell at the Bridge.

So, what next for the Italian? We take a look at his options below.

Sabbatical

The most likely option.

Conte has pretty much been working non-stop since entering into the dugout back in 2006. His last three jobs have been both high-profile and intense, having spent the previous seven years in charge of Juventus, the Italian national team, and then Chelsea.

With no big club jobs available at the moment, the 48-year-old may decide to kick-back and put his own feet up, deservedly so too.

Pep Guardiola famously took a sabbatical following his four-year tenure at Barcelona, while Luis Enrique did the same, before returning to management with Spain last week.

Wait for a top job to open up

Conte may decide to chill for now, but if a vacancy that takes his fancy crops up then he’ll no doubt be interested to hear what they have to say.

The Premier League’s “big 6” all seem content with their current incumbents, meaning Conte may instead be tempted to venture over to La Liga for the first time in his managerial career - earlier this summer he reportedly turned down Real Madrid - although a return to Serie A seems the most likely option of the three.

Chinese Super League

Many a European manager has been lured over to China on a lucrative contract, and Conte could be the next to venture into the Chinese Super League.

The league is currently home to the likes of Chris Coleman, Luis Garcia, Roger Schmidt, Conte’s fellow countrymen Fabio Cannavaro, Paulo Sousa and Dan Petrescu, while former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, Fabio Capello, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Manuel Pellegrini were all recently plying their trade in the world’s most populated country.

Argentina national team

Conte previously spent two years in charge of Italy (2014 to 2016), during which he led the Azzurri through to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals, where his troops lost to Germany on penalties (6-5) - In total he won 14 of his 25 matches, losing four.

If Conte fancies a return to the international managerial arena then a vacancy could soon be available over in Argentina, with Jorge Sampaoli’s future to be decided at the end of July, when the Argentine is expected to be axed.

Back in 1934 Italian Felipe Pascucci managed La Albiceleste at the World Cup, while 34 years later Renato Cesarini (half Italian/half Argentinian) briefly took charge. Could Conte be next?

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Antonio Conte
(Chelsea)
13th July
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