Antonio Conte is the new manager of Chelsea, the club have confirmed, with the Italy boss ending months of speculation by finally penning terms in London on Monday.
The 46-year-old has put pen to paper on a three-year contract but will not take charge of the club until after the European Championship in France this summer, where he is looking to guide the Azzurri to only their second continental win.
Chelsea have been looking for a long-term successor to Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese was sacked in December, with popular interim boss Guus Hiddink unwilling to take on the job permanently.
“I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea,” Conte told the club’s official website. “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.
“I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League.
“Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.
“I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.”
The Blues are unbeaten in the Premier League since Hiddink took over – their 15-game streak is the longest undefeated run in the division this season – and still have a slim chance of qualifying for Europe.
The lack of Champions League football has not put Conte off, however, with the Italian beating off competition from the likes of Copa America-winning coach Jorge Sampaoli to land the Stamford Bridge job.
Conte arrives in England with a hugely impressive CV, having won the Scudetto in three consecutive seasons with Juventus between 2011 and 2014 and helping lay the foundations for the Old Lady’s recent dominance of Italian football.
He fared less well in the cup competitions, however, losing the Coppa Italia final to Napoli and failing to progress further than the quarter-finals of the Champions League – even crashing out at the group stage in his final season at the club.
After replacing Cesare Prandelli as Italy manager two years ago, Conte oversaw an unbeaten qualification campaign for Euro 2016, though he will step down to take charge of Chelsea after this summer’s tournament.
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