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Juventus

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Ex Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli knows Antonio Conte very well since they were team-mates at Juventus in late 90s: they won a couple of Italian titles and a Champions League together and they remained friends throughout these years.

Ravanelli also coached Juventus youth teams for two years when Conte was in charge at Bianconeri, and also helped him in his experience in the Italian national team, so he knows his way of working really well.

That’s why The Sun asked him an opinion about new Chelsea manager and what he can bring to the West London side:

“Chelsea have made the right choice if they want to win back the Premier League,” Ravanelli told to the English newspaper.

“I think, under Conte, it’s a guarantee.

He is one of the most meticulous managers in the world – but also a fighter.

“He demands professionalism. He is meticulous – especially on tactics. Chelsea have made a great decision.

“But when he did start his new career — even if he had endured some difficult times — you could see he was going to be successful.

“He always had a great determination. He always had a willingness to make it to the top — and that shows in his incredible rise.

“He won promotions, he won three league titles in a row. He’s an extraordinary boss.”

Conte doesn’t have a great score in the Champions League: his best result is a quarter final in 2013, when Juventus was knocked out by future champions of Europe, Bayern Munich, and was even kicked out at the group stage in the following edition, after a controversial defeat in Turkey against Galatasaray.

Ravanelli claimed he is sure Conte will success in the major European competition too:

“He has always said that, having won it as a player, he wants to win it as a manager.

“No, he will win it as a manager.

“I think in his future there will be a Champions League victory and I hope for him it’s with Chelsea,” Ravanelli concluded.

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Antonio Conte made a surprise visit yesterday travelling to Cobham training ground along with Chelsea sporting director Michaeal Emenalo.

The Italian manager wanted to meet the players and he was supposed to have watched to training.

Conte will have to make important decisions on the squad next summer, in fact some players are not sure to stay: Eden Hazard has got offers from PSG and Real Madrid and with Chelsea not taking part to next Champions League a huge income from his sale would be great for FFP, so the club could invest some more money to revamp the squad.

Thibaut Courtois is in a similar situation and after what he said last week a move from him wouldn’t be so strange. He has been targeted by Real Madrid and PSG too.

Diego Costa is wanted by Atletico Madrid, who dream about his return, but the Colchoneros chairman stated that his a tough negotiation and Conte would like to keep him.

John Terry still doesn’t know if he will remain or not, and he is in talks with the board. Conte would like to keep him too to have a leader in the dressing room to help him with his delicate job.

Nemanja Matic is set to leave after he got a small playing time in this season, especially after Guus Hiddink took charge, so the Conte had to decide on his future too since Chelsea invested £ 25m two years ago to bring him back from Benfica, an effort that was in part repaid last season where Matic was fundamental in the title race with impressive performances on Fabregas‘ side.

Chelsea also got interesting youngsters like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bertrand Traore, Jake Clarke-Salter or Kenedy and, of course, Conte want to realise if they are really ready to be part of the first team squad for next year.

It won’t be an easy job for the Italian manager, that’s why he’s starting to work now for next season: he wants to bring Chelsea back to glory, as he did with Juventus four years ago.

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It’s now been nearly 24 hours since Italian manager Antonio Conte was announced as the next Chelsea boss. But what will he have to change at Stamford Bridge to bring back success?

Conte won three consecutive Serie A titles at Juventus between 2011-2014 during which he amassed the highest points total of any team in Serie A history in the 2011/12 season. Having taken over from the club when they finished just 7th in the league.

Having taken over the Italian national team and qualified them for Euro 2016 unbeaten, winning seven and drawing three he will lead the team to France this summer before making his switch to London.

But the job at Stamford Bridge could well be Conte’s biggest challenge. Having never managed in England before, he will be under the microscope with an extremely talented squad and, I’m sure, plenty of money to spend. So how does he bring the good times back to West London?

Give John Terry a new deal

Chelsea captain John Terry has been the clubs talisman for the last 15 years. Being captain during the most successful period in the clubs 111 year history. He has been starting nearly every game he’s been fit for this season, and is still obviously one of the club’s best centre backs currently.

It would make no sense to get rid of John Terry. Even if the former England captain isn’t seen as a first team regular under Conte, his role in the dressing room would be key to any success Chelsea were to have. His experience and know how on the big Champions League and Premier League games would be key for the next 2-3 years at least.

Build a spine

When fellow Italian Carlo Ancelotti took over at Stamford Bridge in 2009 from interim boss Guus Hiddink the Blues had a very strong spine to their team. Cech, Terry, Cole, Lampard and Drogba who went on to win countless trophies including the Champions League. This was the catalyst to Chelsea’s success over the last decade. Now only one of those players remains.

Chelsea have a strong squad of young players. There is the potential for a great spine there. Courtois, Zouma, Fabregas, Hazard, Costa. You can change some of those names, but essentially those are Chelsea’s best players in their respective positions. With Chelsea in a sense of transition, the club will need to build a team around these players in the hope they will stay without Champions League football next season.

Sort out the current squad before identifying new signings

With over thirty first team players out on loan and an incredible youth setup to his disposal, Antonio Conte needs sort through plenty of players before even attempting to make any new signings. Yes investment may be needed but it will be difficult to attract the top players without Champions League football. Therefore identifying those players who can really improve the team from within will be vital.

As discussed in my previous article, loan players such as Patrick Bamford, Nathan Ake, Juan Cuadrado and many more could well improve this current squad of players. Youngsters such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Baba Rahman and Kenedy who have had a taste of first team football will have even more to prove to the new manager.

There are plenty of players out of form, such as Matic, Hazard, Oscar and Remy. Conte will need to decide who will stay, who goes and most importantly, who will replace them.

There is a lot of work for the Italian man to do. But with a talented squad of players at his disposal and the backing of the board in summer, he could well turn this club around. Let’s face it, it can’t get any worse then this season surely?

 

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Antonio Conte‘s lawyer, Leonardo Cammarata, spoke about the judge request of six months jail sentence for match fixing for his client, a request that was formalized this morning by the Court of Cremona, head of the trial in Italy.

His legal team have ruled out a plea bargain in the trial though Cammarata has described the protracted process as “a nightmare”.

Conte missed fifteen of Juventus’ Serie A matches and six Champions League games because of the suspension in from August 2012 to December 2012.

“He is very tired of it,” Cammarata said.

“It has been a nightmare, completely crazy. We are convinced he is innocent and asked for this trial to be fast-tracked because we did not want a long and boring trial which would turn into a TV show at a time when he wants to concentrate on his football.”

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There are many chances for an intense negotiation between Chelsea and Juventus in the summer.

Paul Pogba is always on Blues’ wishlist but Bianconeri are not willing to sell him; though they expressed an interest in signing the Chelsea midfielder and Brazilian international Oscar and, according to Tuttosport, Beppe Marotta would be ready to fork out £24m for the 24-year-old during.

The same newspaper claims that Antonio Conte wants to revamp Chelsea’s midfield and Oscar may not be included in the Italian’s future plans, then Serie A champions remain interested in signing him and appear to be contemplating a potential move this summer.

 

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Chelsea and Juventus, according to Express.co.uk, are keen on the 24-year-old midfielder N’Golo Kanté, who joined the Foxes in the summer costing just £5.6m from Caen.

Kanté is currently valued around £20m and is unsure where he will be next season.

The France international told Sky Sports: “I will fight for Leicester this season and next season we never know and we will see.”

He added: “At this moment I am focused on Leicester. We have to finish well this season but I don’t mind about  the other clubs. It is unbelievable because we weren’t thinking about this at the start of the season. All things are good and we are happy.”

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In recent weeks, Chelsea have been keeping tabs on Athletic Bilbao‘s Oscar de Marcos.

De Marcos has had some fantastic performances this season, which has also caught the eye of Manchester United and Juventus.

However, the 26-year-old has played down the speculation of a possible transfer. He says he is happy with Bilbao and wants to finish his career with the club.

“The news has passed by me, but nobody has told me anything.

“If it’s true, it is because I’m doing things right with the Athletic. More importantly I don’t let it worry me.

“Today I think my future is in the Athletic and I’ll finish my career here. I only see here.”

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Juventus centre back Leonardo Bonucci has dismissed reports linking him with a move to Stamford Bridge.

It has been claimed Bonucci would follow former Juventus boss Antonio Conte to West London but the defender has other ideas as he is fully focussed the Serie A side.

“If I’ve ever followed Conte, then it’s been to get a coffee at most,” Bonucci said.

“I don’t know where he’s going to go, but I’ve signed a new contract at Juventus and I’m only thinking about the Bianconeri.”

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Simone Zaza‘s agent, Christian Maifredi, dismissed rumours of his player moving to Chelsea:

“I learned about Simone’s links to Chelsea through the Press,” he told TuttoJuve.com

I don’t have anything to declare on an official level, it’s just information that I’ve read online.

“It’s nice, of course, to be linked to such a great club but there are still a dozen games to be played in the Bianconeri shirt, one Simone is very attached to.

“There’s the end of the season to go, and the European Championships still to be played.

“If we have to talk about the transfer market, it’ll only be after that.”

Maifredi was then asked to asses his client’s impact in Turin so far.

“It’s been a totally new period for Simone, these eight months he’s been playing in the Juventus shirt.

“As his agent I’ve observed his growth compared to when he wore the Sassuolo shirt, and because of his new surroundings and new targets we’re very satisfied with his performance.

“When he’s been called upon he’s done well, as shown by his seven goals in 750 minutes which really is an excellent average.

“I hope he can get more minutes before the end of the season.”

 

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Antonio Conte, the ever more likely Chelsea boss for next season, could be looking to add depth to his squad, looking towards his old club Juventus for players that impressed while he was in charge of the Italian side.

Reports from Tuttosport suggest that Leonardo Bonucci and on-loan Juan Cuadrado are at the top of Conte‘s shopping list.

However, Juventus boss Max Allegri is more than keen to keep hold of both of these players, he see’s them as a big part of the team for next season. Reports also suggest that Allegri is planning a counter offer in the hopes of securing the services of out-of-form Eden Hazard and also Brazilian winger Willian.

It leaves a difficult decision for Chelsea to make because although Conte would want to make his own mark on the team, selling Hazard could prove to be a bad decision. Although he has had a poor season so far, he has the ability which he proved in a spectacular season last year.

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