The strongest candidate to take over Chelsea's managerial post next summer has just opened his way to the job. The Italian FA confirmed that Antonio Conte will leave his position as manager of the Italian national team after the Euro 2016, with the intention of returning to club football.
"Conte will leave the national team after the European Championship. He hears the call of the [training] pitch and of daily work, which is understandable."
-Carlo Tavecchio, Italian FA president; Source: Facebook via the Guardian
Conte addressed his early notice in a Facebook post, in which he claimed to be focused on the Azzurri performance at the Euro and expressed his wish to get back to club football once his task with the national team is over.
"Right now our highest concentration is addressed solely [on the] European Championship where we will try with the work and sacrifice to make the most of our potential. Anyone who knows me knows that my commitment will be total."
"Then I feel I must go back to the coach in a club having the opportunity to train every day. Thanks to president Tavecchio who has accompanied me on a daily basis in this wonderful adventure."
-Antonio Conte; Source: Facebook via the Guardian
Given all the rumours linking Conte to the Chelsea job, his announcement paves the way for him to take over the club in the summer. Unless a major turnaround follows, Conte to Chelsea is basically a done deal.