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Italy coach Conte to leave after Euro 2016: Federation

Italy coach Antonio Conte, who has been linked to Chelsea, will give up his post after Euro 2016, the Italian Football Federation announced on Tuesday.

Italy coach Conte to leave after Euro 2016: Federation
Italy coach Antonio Conte will give up his post after Euro 2016. Photo: Olivier Morin

The 46-year-old former Juventus coach took over the national team in August 2014 and secured their qualification for the European Championship.

Federation president Carlo Tavecchio told Italian media: “Antonio Conte has told me that at the end of the European championship, his job will end. He feels the need for the pitch, the everyday training, and this is something you can understand.”

It fuels speculation that Conte, who won three Serie A titles with Juventus, will be appointed Chelsea boss following the tournament from June 10th to July 10th in France.

British and Italian media reports say that Chelsea have an accord with Conte, even adding that he will take his long term assistants Angelo Alessio and Massimo Carrera with him to London.

Chelsea are having the worst season of Roman Abramovich's 13-year ownership. They sacked Jose Mourinho in December and interim boss Guus Hiddink has had to take the team from just above the relegation zone to 10th place.

Conte took over a demoralised Azzurri side following their humiliating first round exit from the World Cup in Brazil. He confidently succeeded in his first task of qualifying for the European Championships.

Italy advanced to the finals with ease by dominating their group which included Bulgaria, Norway, Croatia, Azerbaidjan and Malta, with seven wins and three draws.

Conte's Italy defence, with a Juventus core of Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli, proved solid, the coach has come under fire for his lacklustre forward line that managed just 16 goals in 10 qualifying games.

Three months before the tournament gets underway, the team remains a work in
progress.

In France, the Italians have been drawn in Group E along with Belgium, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.

Italy were beaten by world number one ranked team Belgium in a friendly last November, demonstrating the gap between Conte's side and the top European teams.

Conte has also clashed with Italian football chiefs. He had hoped to organise a training camp in February and wanted the Italian Cup final brought forward to allow international players involved to take holidays.

Both requests were turned down to Conte's fury.

Former Italy coaches Roberto Donadoni and Cesare Prandelli have both been named as possible replacements for Conte along with Claudio Ranieri, manager of surprise Premier League leaders Leicester.

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ITALY

Italy’s Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report

Ex-PM Matteo Renzi would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister of Italy, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.

Italy's Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report
Matteo Renzi. Image: Andreas Solaro/ POOL / AFP

“I would say that is one of our proposals,” confirmed the source, who declined to be named.

The Italian government collapsed last week when PM Giuseppe Conte resigned. The former coalition allies are currently trying to come to an agreement and sort out their differences.

The centre-left government had been in turmoil ever since former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party earlier this month, a move that forced Conte to step down this week.

During the past year, Renzi frequently criticised Conte’s management of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also reported on Sunday that President Sergio Mattarella was considering Draghi for the prime ministerial role. However, Mattarella’s office promptly denied this, saying there had been no contact between them.

So far, there has been no comment from Draghi, who hasn't been seen much in the public eye since 2019.


Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, gave ruling parties more time on Friday to form a new government, after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Coalition parties Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement must come to an agreement to allow the government to heal. 

Renzi, a former prime minister himself, has pubilcly stated that he does not want to talk about who should lead the next government at this stage, reasoning that the parties need to agree on a way forward first.

“Any effort today to fuel a discussion about Draghi is offensive to Draghi and above all to the president of the republic,” Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday with Corriere della Sera.

A senior Italia Viva lawmaker also told Reuters that “If the president gives a mandate to Draghi, we would certainly support this”. 

Renzi, whose party is not even registering three percent support in opinion polls, quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for spending more than 200 billion euros from a European Union fund to help Italy’s damaged economy.

READ ALSO: Why do Italy's governments collapse so often?

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