Italy manager Antonio Conte reportedly hopes to secure the managerial job at Chelsea within the next 10 days. The 46-year-old coach has been widely linked with the vacant managerial position in recent weeks and is reportedly eager to sign a contract with the west London club in March.
Conte is set to lead Italy into the European championships but is apparently keen to move to the Premier League thereafter. He is out of contract in the summer and has impressed Chelsea during previous discussions with the club, according to The Guardian.
A source close to the negotiations said a meeting held between the two parties on 25 February was "very positive". The Italian is reportedly set to earn £6.3m ($8.8m) a season before tax at Chelsea and because of other potential managerial vacancies, the club are said to be eager to secure the deal as swiftly as possible.
Other big-name managers to have been linked with the position at Chelsea include Massimiliano Allegri, the Juventus coach, and Atlético Madrid's Diego Simeone. However, both of those names are thought to be more difficult to lure away from their current employers.
Chelsea's interest in Conte is based on his impressive track record in Italy, where he won the Serie A title with Juventus, while he is also undefeated in 10 competitive games as the manager of the international team. However, he has never progressed beyond the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.
Guus Hiddink is currently in charge of Chelsea on an interim basis, having replaced Jose Mourinho in December 2015. But the Dutchman has repeatedly said he does not wish to take on a permanent role with the club.