Conte eyes fresh 'project' as he nears coaching return

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The former Chelsea boss is nearing his return to football having been out of management for nearly a year

Antonio Conte has confirmed that he will return to coaching in June as he aims to find a "project" that proves convincing.

The Italian manager has been out of work since leaving Chelsea this past summer as he was replaced by fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri.

The 49-year-old coach won the 2016-17 Premier League title with the Blues while also claiming the 2017-18 FA Cup during his two-year stint at Stamford Bridge.

Out of action for nearly a year, Conte says he is close to deciding on his next project, as he hinted at his next job on an Italian talk show.

On Italian talk show ‘E poi c’e Cattelan’, Conte chose the badge of the club he will manage in June and inserted it into a closed envelope that will be opened at a later date.

However, Conte also claimed uncertainty over his next destination, while adding he will need to be convinced to sign on with a new club. 

“I still don’t know where I will go,” Conte said in an episode that will be aired on Thursday evening.

“But certainly I’ll choose a team who has a project that convinces me.”

Conte has been linked with the likes of Juventus, Inter, Roma and AC Milan in recent months, having found plenty of prior success in Italian football.

The manager won three Serie A titles as manager of Juventus, having also won five league crowns, a Coppa Italia, a UEFA Cup and a Champions League title as a player with the club.

Conte also managed the Italian national team from 2014-16, as he guided the side to a quarter-final elimination at the hands of Germany at Euro 2016.

While his future was the big talking point, Conte also referenced Jose Mourinho during his interview on the show, discussing the Portuguese manager's three-fingered message to Chelsea supporters during his time as Manchester United boss.

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"He won the treble and three championships with Chelsea , so he has the opportunity to make that gesture, but it takes respect, towards the public, but also towards him," Conte said.

"He has won so much and in that gesture there is all of Mourinho."

Chelsea held on to eliminate Slavia Praha from the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday as the Blues head towards the semi-final round of the competition.