Football

Allegri or Conte for Chelsea

Blues are reportedly looking at either Italian to fill managerial hot seat

Chelsea are believed to be looking towards Italy for their next permanent manager to succeed interim boss Guus Hiddink.

And two names in particular have cropped up - both with links to Juventus - the club's current boss Massimiliano Allegri and his predecessor Antonio Conte.

Allegri's contract with the Italian giants ends next year, while Conte, who is now Italy coach, finishes his stint with the national set-up after June's European Championship.

Allegri has an impressive CV.

The 48-year-old guided Juventus to the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League final last season, and the Turin side's prospects of winning multiple trophies at home and abroad this season remain bright.

He also steered AC Milan to the Scudetto in 2010/11.

Already there are calls for Allegri to stay in Italy - and some for him to go to Chelsea.

Said Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta: "We're speaking to Allegri every day at this crucial stage of the season.

"In the space of one month we have to play in every competition - the league, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League.

"We talk to Allegri about footballing matters, not about other matters.

"Beyond the contracts you have to sign, there are the relationships you must build with people, and we're happy with Allegri.

"All the conditions are right for us to continue with him as coach. Results are what count and Allegri has delivered plenty of those.

"Football is a business and the role of a coach is important when it comes to breeding continuity.

"Chelsea are a top club and it's obvious that they'll want to look at the best coaches.

"All I can say is that he is already at a top club, so he'd do well to think twice before leaving Juventus."

But Giovanni Galeone, who coached Allegri at several clubs during his playing career and is described as his mentor, hopes his protege quits the Turin giants and takes over at Chelsea next season.

"If I was Allegri, I would walk to Chelsea. I think he will end up there at the end of the season," said Galeone.

TACTICAL NOUS

He believes Allegri has the man-management skills and tactical nous to get the best out of the players under his command.

And he is sure his former charge, who has been taking English lessons in recent years, will ultimately succeed Hiddink.

"He's performing miracles (at Juventus) considering that during the summer he didn't get any of the players he'd asked for," added Galeone.

"Max has reinvented Paulo Dybala into a top playmaker. He's one of the five best coaches in the world. I think he will go to Chelsea because the offer is really fantastic." - Wire Services.

Allegri - For the record

Massimiliano Allegri took over from Antonio Conte as Juventus boss in time for the start of last season and led the Bianconeri to a fourth consecutive Serie A title, their first league and cup Double in 20 years and their first Champions League final appearance since 2002/03.

Juventus were outclassed 3-1 by Barcelona in the final in Berlin, but after the demise of cash-strapped Serie A sides, Allegri had helped to return the Turin giants to the upper echelons of European football.

Juve underwent several key personnel changes in the summer but, after a disastrous start to this campaign, they are now only two points behind leaders Napoli ahead of the sides' top-of-the-table clash on Sunday morning (Singapore time) in Turin.

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