English Premiership

Conte 'first choice for Italy coaching job'

2018-02-28 10:01
Antonio Conte (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Italian Football Federation vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta has revealed Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is his first choice for national-team job.

Conte coached the Azzurri prior to taking over at Stamford Bridge, replacing Cesare Prandelli in August 2014 and departing after their run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.

Italy have not fared well since Conte's departure, failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. As a result, Gian Piero Ventura was sacked and replaced on an interim basis by Luigi Di Biagio.

Former Milan defender Costacurta is in charge of the search for the country's next coach and left nobody in doubt regarding his preferred option.

"I haven't chosen yet, but I think Conte is the one who could do the best. I'll definitely talk with him in a couple of months," he said.

"He's already shown he knows how to be national team coach while the others haven't yet. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be happy with Mancini or with Ancelotti, although (Ancelotti) seems to have removed himself from consideration."

Costacurta's revelation added fuel to the fire as speculation whirls regarding Conte's future at Chelsea. Despite winning the Premier League last season, the Blues have endured a dismal title defence and have slipped out of the top four due to a 2-1 loss to Manchester United on Sunday.

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