Emanuele Giaccherini is a 30-year-old journeyman utility player who has somehow represented Italy 22 times even though he has only around 150 top flight appearances to his name in his career. About a third of those appearances came under the guidance of Antonio Conte at Juventus, who also gave the former Cesena star a recall to the national side ahead of Euro 2016. Giaccherini's appearance in the friendly against Spain was his first cap since 2014. Conte clearly rates him and the love appears to be mutual.
"In this Nazionale nobody is indispensable. We are all important and all the players put themselves at the disposal of the Coach."
"My rapport with the Coach is strong because he wanted me at Juventus and expressed that with great determination. It was important for me to prove that I could belong at Juventus. Since taking over the Nazionale job he has always sent me strong signals too."
"Conte loves to be on the training field and see the players every day, so he can continually transmit his ideas."
"We must first of all be a team. If everyone is ready to work and help each other out, it can make the most of the quality at our disposal. We might not have Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, but we have players who can make their characteristics count if we all work together as a team. There are around 30 players to choose from, so it’s still too early to say who will go to Euro 2016. Last season I didn’t play very often at Sunderland, but I am a regular at Bologna and that gives me an important sense of consistency on a fitness level."
-Emanuele Giaccherini; source: Football Italia
Since his move to Sunderland, Giaccherini's had an unfortunate habit of picking up injuries. He's currently trying to rehabilitate his career on loan at Bologna. Playing mostly as a left winger, he's having his best season since 2010-11 and perhaps he and his agent think this can be leveraged into one final big move and big payday. Conte and Chelsea would be a logical place to start — as the rumors from a couple weeks ago proved.
"He will be going into the last year of his contract and I think that makes it more affordable. But there will still need to be some negotiations with Sunderland. They do not have economic problems and therefore do not give gifts."
-Furio Valcareggi, agent; source: Chronicle
Giaccherini seems certain to move on, especially if Sunderland were to get relegated. He supposedly has interest in Italy, but I would suspect the links with Chelsea will continue until his future is sorted.