Antonio Conte is expected to leave Chelsea at the end of the season and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been named as a potential replacement. The Express say the 45-year-old is on Chelsea’s list of managerial candidates, but he’s made no public desire to leave Celtic just yet.
Conte’s relationship with Chelsea’s hierarchy is strained after disagreements over transfer targets last summer. Owner Roman Abramovich often sanctions deals without consulting the manager and it’s believed to have hampered the Blues this season.
Chelsea’s summer signings – Alvaro Morata (£59.4m from Real Madrid), Tiemoué Bakayoko (£36m from AS Monaco), Danny Drinkwater (£34m from Leicester City), Davide Zappacosta (£22.5m from Torino), Emerson Palmieri (£18m from AS Roma) and Ross Barkley (£15m from Everton) – have failed to impress.
The Londoners are currently fifth in the Premier League this season, seven points adrift of fourth-place Tottenham after 33 games, and look set to miss out on the Champions League. Conte’s departure should follow this summer, opening the door to a replacement.
Rodgers worked at Chelsea between 2004-2008 as a youth coach before managing Watford (2008-2009), Reading (2009), Swansea City (2010-2012), Liverpool (2012-2015) and Celtic (2016-present). He’s won one league title, two League Cups and one Scottish Cup with the Hoops and did impress in the Premier League before his Liverpool exit.
The 45-year-old helped Swansea get promoted to the top flight and consolidate. He also led Liverpool to second in the Premier League in 2013/14 – losing out on the title by two points. As Celtic are on course to seal back-to-back domestic trebles, Rodgers’ stock couldn’t be higher. He doesn’t appear keen to exit Parkhead, however.