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AC Milan set sights on Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte — reports

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Qarabag FK v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

Despite spending over €200 million of their new owner’s money in the summer transfer window to reinforce every position of the first team squad but goalkeeper (where they have probably the best teenager in the world playing), AC Milan have failed to meet expectations. They currently sit seventh in the Serie A and far away from the title fight they envisioned at the beginning of the season. Because of that, coach Vicenzo Montella was finally sacked, with club legend Gennaro Gattuso taking over as interim head coach.

However, Gattuso is not Milan's long-term solution for the position, and they’ve drawn up a wishlist of high profile targets. According to Italian newspapers Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is at the very top of said list, with two other Premier League- and Serie A-winning managers, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Mancini following behind.

At Milan, Conte would supposedly be given lots of power over transfers and would be allowed to reshape it as he’d see fit despite the heavy investment not six months ago. This however would hinge on UEFA's decision to exempt Milan from Financial Fair Play responsibilities over the next four years, which seems like a rather unlikely scenario since they’re not PSG. This seems to be their big selling point, so if UEFA do not grant them an exemption, the rumors claim they’d have no chance of tempting Conte away.

Mind you, despite the lofty rumors and expectations, Milan are in deep trouble not only on the pitch but especially in the back office, with questions over who really owns the club and whether any of that money is actually real — here is a great piece from the New York Times on the subject.

While Conte might be interested in returning to Italy and join another club that requires a massive turnaround but which might actually give him control over transfers — something which he will never have at Chelsea — this all seems like idle speculation on the part of the Italian media, just as they’ve done many times in Conte’s year and a half at Chelsea.