AC Milan still hope to persuade Antonio Conte to leave Chelsea despite appointing Gennaro Gattuso, and have held secret talks with the Italian, according to reports.
Milan sacked Vincenzo Montella on Monday after a run of two league wins in their last nine games and put Gattuso – who had been managing the club’s youth side – in charge of first-team duties.
But the 39-year-old former midfielder is not Milan’s long-term choice, and according to Gazzetta dello Sport they have been sounding out Conte over the role.
He has already spoken with the Rossoneri’s leadership and told them he would be open to taking charge at the San Siro, though would not be able to swap clubs until the end of the season.
Conte likes the idea of returning to Serie A and, despite his wife and daughter joining him in Chelsea this year, continues to pine for a return to his homeland.
He is also taken by the idea of returning Milan to their former glory and is keen to see what he could do with the club’s contingent of young, up-and-coming players.
Conte likes that they have developed a core of young Italian players such as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Andrea Conti, Davide Calabria and Alessio Romagnoli.
The fact that Milan are only seventh in Serie A, and likely to miss out on the Champions League, does not bother him either, though he would expect to be given serious funds to invest next summer.
Conte will wait for their financial situation to be resolved before committing, with the Chinese owners currently in the process of trying to refinance a loan from US hedge fund Elliott Management.
Carlo Ancelotti, who is also in the frame from the job, is also concerned about the finances at the club, meaning Gattuso will remain in charge until the situation is clearer.
Conte’s current deal at Chelsea expires in 2019 and he seems unlikely to sign an extension, having snubbed one over the summer (though did negotiate a pay rise), and he has also been linked with taking charge of the Italian national team again.
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