Former Chelsea star Frank Lampard thinks Antonio Conte has the right pedigree to manage the Blues and help the club to get on track, but he also insisted the job is very difficult for any manager.
Several reports suggest Conte has already agreed terms on a three-year deal to become next Chelsea manager following the end of Euro 2016, where he will be in charge of Italy.
Conte previously guided Juventus to three successive Serie A titles with a squad that included Andrea Pirlo, who now plays alongside Lampard at New York City FC.
And Lampard has recently spoken with Pirlo about Conte, and the veteran midfielder believes the Italian has all the attributes to succeed at Chelsea although he admits it will not be easy.
“I don’t know him too well but he’s got a great pedigree, a great recent record with Juventus,” Lampard told BT Sport.
“I spoke with Andrea Pirlo about him and he has nothing but good words to say about him. I think he’s hard working, he’ll have the players working hard. He has what fans and players like to see – that determination, that will to win.
“It’s a difficult job at Chelsea now considering what’s happened this year, so we’ll see. If it is him, I think he has the pedigree to do it, but the decision has not been made.”
Antonio Conte will be out of contract in the summer and has been in Chelsea’s good book after several discussions over the past two months and a recent meeting with some Chelsea officials was labelled as “very positive”, according to a source close to the negotiations.
Conte’s representatives, as well as Chelsea officials, are now waiting for the finer details of what could be a three‑year deal.
The former Juventus boss, who would earn £6.3m per season excluding tax at Chelsea, is desperate for a return to club management after the Euro in France this summer.
He had previously worked with Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta, Siena and Juventus before taking charge of the Italy national team in 2014. He had three consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus and is considered to be one of the best Italian managers of his generation.
Chelsea are also interested to find their next manager before the summer not to miss out on their main transfer targets.
Manchester United also searching for a new boss at the end of this season and, with Simeone and Allegri not ready to commit in the mid-season, Conte has gained an advantage which may well lead him landing the job very quickly as Chelsea will not accept any possibility of miss out the chance to appoint such a world class manager.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte reportedly wants to bring his long-term assistant Angelo Alessio, defensive coach Massimo Carrera, fitness coach Paolo Bertelli, his brother Gianluca, who scouts the opposition, and Mauro Sandreani, who looks after the tactics and talent-spotting.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are doing their best to convince Italian manager to keep Steve Holland on his first-team staff and also trying to find a suitable place for club legend Didier Drogba, when his playing contract with Montreal Impact runs out at the end of the upcoming Major League Soccer season.