Conte keen on Chelsea as Juventus fight to keep Allegri

Antonio Conte is the favourite to become the next permanent Chelsea manager with Juventus determined to keep Massimiliano Allegri, Sports5050 understands.

Guus Hiddink, who signed a short-term deal at Chelsea following Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December, is not expected to remain at Stamford Bridge beyond the summer, despite having steadied the ship and overseen a 10-game unbeaten run.

Goal understands Conte held talks with Chelsea chiefs a month ago and is certain to step down from his position as Italy’s head coach following this summer’s European Championships in France.

The 46-year-old, who masterminded three successive Serie A titles during his time as Juve manager, is desperate to return to club management and has been taking English lessons in preparation for a move to the Premier League for some time.

His successor at Juve, Allegri, has also been heavily linked with the Chelsea manager’s job in recent weeks but has strenuously denied any interest in moving to west London.

“Today what I will say is, as I have said before, that I’m happy here,” he said last week “We have many commitments and three important goals to achieve. For the future, we do not talk about anything.”

Allegri replaced Conte as Juve manager in the summer of 2014 and has built on the platform established by his compatriot, overseeing the Old Lady’s continued dominance of Serie A and guiding them to last season’s Champions League final.

The former Milan coach’s contract is due to expire in 2017 which has sparked uncertainty over his future, but Goal can confirm Juve’s general manager Giuseppe Marotta intends to sit down with Allegri imminently with a view to tying him down to a new long-term deal.

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