Chelsea in search for a replacement for manager Antonio Conte

Chelsea have started the search for their next manager, with Antonio Conte increasingly likely to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

Conte’s contract does not expire until next year but the 48-year-old Italian is already preparing to move on.

Max Allegri of Juventus and Luis Enrique, who quit as Barcelona boss last year, are the leading contenders to replace him

Maurizio Sarri, who has led Napoli to the top of Serie A, has also been considered but Diego Simeone is expected to be difficult to prise away from Atletico Madrid.

Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is not being considered despite his availability since he was fired by Bayern Munich. He was a crowd favourite at the Bridge after winning the Double in 2010, his first season.

Allegri signed a new contract at Juventus last year which ties him to the Turin club until 2020. He has been at Juve for three years, winning the title three times and twice reaching the Champions League final. He has ambitions to work outside Italy.

Having been in charge at AC Milan he knows what it takes to manage amid great expectations and is committed to a brand of attacking football admired by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Enrique won the La Liga title twice and the Champions League once during his three years at Barcelona.


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