Chelsea appoints Antonio Conte as new head coach

Chelsea announce appointment of Antonio Conte as club's new manager on three-year contract

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Italy coach Antonio Conte named on April 4, 2016 as Chelsea's new manager on a three-year deal starting after Euro 2016.

Italian Antonio Conte was named as Chelsea's new head coach with a three-year contract, the club announced on Monday.

Conte, 46 - currently the head coach of Italy - will take up the appointment after the June 10-July 10 European Championship in France. He will replace interim manager Guus Hiddink, who is leaving the club at the end of the season.

"I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation," said Conte, first tipped as a successor to interim manager Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge last month, in a statement on Chelsea's website.

"I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros."

Chelsea have been without a permanent manager since the London club sacked former boss Jose Mourinho in December after they lost nine out the first 16 games of their Premier League title defence.

Under Dutch coach Hiddink, they have mounted something of a recovery and last weekend's 4-0 win away to bottom of the table Aston Villa left Chelsea tenth in the 20-team Premier League.