Antonio Conte is expected to sign a three-year deal to take over as Chelsea manager within the next 10 days, according to Sky in Italy.
Conte’s representatives have begun negotiations with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, Sky in Italy understands, as the Blues attempt to secure a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho ahead of next season.
Initial talks are reported to have been positive, with Conte potentially talking about a long-term deal to come to England – agreement could be reached early next month.
Conte’s contract with Italy expires after Euro 2016 in the summer and he will be free to move to Stamford Bridge with no compensation needed to be paid to the Italian Football Federation.
Sky Sports News HQ understands Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is the only other contender for the managerial position at Chelsea.
Guus Hiddink, who replaced Mourinho on an interim basis in December, has already stated his intention to retire from management at the end of the season, ruling himself out of taking the role permanently.
If Conte does join Chelsea, he will become the 10th manager to work under owner Roman Abramovich since the Russian billionaire acquired the club from Ken Bates in 2004.
Chelsea are refusing to comment.