Chelsea have reportedly identified Diego Simeone as their number one choice to replace Antonio Conte, who they expect to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
Conte, 48, became an instant hero in west London after he won the Premier League title in his first season in England. Following the success the former Italy boss, who will have one year remaining on his contract come the summer, penned a new contract at Chelsea but did not extend its length.
Chelsea have already begun looking at managers to replace Conte and Simeone is top of their shortlist., according to The Times.
While the club are not looking to sack Conte, there is an expectation that a mutual agreement will be reached over an exit, with the manager clearly unhappy by Chelsea’s transfer activity and structure.
Simeone has been at Atletico Madrid since 2011 and has helped the Spanish club win La Liga and reach two Champions League finals.
He is also attracting interest from Italian clubs, however, and Chelsea are keeping tabs on Maurizio Sarri and Massimiliano Allegri as alternatives to Argentine Simeone.
Conte, meanwhile, has been repeatedly linked with a move back to Italy and Inter Milan are said to be interested in securing his services. Paris Saint-Germain are also admirers of the Blues boss.