Antonio Conte available for Chelsea after announcing "I've got to go back to being a club manager"

Joe Hall
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Italy v Romania - International Friendly
Blue is the colour: Conte is believed to be swapping the Azzurri for Chelsea (Source: Getty)

Antonio Conte will be free to join Chelsea next season after announcing his intention to step down as Italy manager.

The Italy manager, favourite to be named the next permanent boss at Stamford Bridge, has told the Italian Football Federation he will not be seeking to renew his contract with the national team after Euro 2016.

"At the moment our utmost concentration is on the Euros where, with hard work and sacrifice, we'll try to get the most out of our potential," said Conte who is nearing two years in charge of Italy.

"After that I feel I've got to go back to being a club manager and having the chance to coach every day."

Federation president Carlo Tavecchio said he understood the 46-year-old's decision.

Read more: Conte a better choice than Hiddink for long-term project at Chelsea

"Conte has told me his experience with Italy will end after the Euros," said Tavecchio.

"He hears the call of the [training] pitch and of daily work, which is understandable."

Conte led Juventus to three successive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2014 and has been picked by Chelsea as the man to carry them forward after a disastrous title defence led to the departure of Jose Mourinho and leaves the Blues likely to miss out on Champions League football for the first time in over a decade.

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