Chelsea appoint Italy boss, Antonio Conte as new head coach

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Chelsea have appointed Italy boss Antonio Conte as their new first-team head coach, starting from this summer.

The 46-year-old ex-Juventus boss will begin a three-year contract after his country’s participation in Euro 2016.

“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 said.

Guus Hiddink, who replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho, will remain in charge of the Blues until the end of the season.

The final of Euro 2016 takes place on 10 July.

Conte – who won the Serie A title in each of his three years as Juventus boss – is the fifth Italian to manage Chelsea, following Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto di Matteo.

“We are very pleased to have recruited one of the most highly regarded managers in world football,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.

“We are equally pleased to do so before the end of the current season. This aids our future planning.”

Conte has the task of rebuilding a side which won the Premier League title last season before imploding this term.

Mourinho’s second spell came to an end on 17 December after a miserable start to the season and a “palpable discord” with his players, according to Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo.

Hiddink restored stability in his second interim spell as boss – the Blues are 10th with seven games to go – but Chelsea will fail to win a trophy and miss out on Champions League football next season.

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