Antonio Conte
Conte to face the press for the first time as Chelsea boss. Getty Images


  • Chelsea travel to Austria for their pre-season camp on Friday.
  • Italian boss facing questions on club's reported pursuit of Leonardo Bonucci.

After grand unveilings for Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in Manchester, it is now Antonio Conte's turn to be officially presented by Chelsea on Thursday (13 July).

The former Juventus manager took charge of training for the first time on Wednesday ahead of their trip to Austria for their first preseason camp, which starts with a friendly match against Rapid Vienna on Saturday.

Fresh from leading Italy through their impressive Euro 2016 campaign, the 46-year-old will face the media for the first time as Blues manager. IBTimes UK look at the key questions most likely to be put to the new boss.

Can Chelsea challenge for the Premier League title next season?

Chelsea plummeted to mid-table obscurity last season, surroundings they have not found themselves in for 20 years. Their 10<sup>th place finish sees them miss out on European football for a season, but as Liverpool demonstrated in the 2013-14 season and Leicester City last term, that can work to bolster an assault on the league. Expectations at Stamford Bridge are likely to have been tempered in the wake of last season's disaster, but with a refreshed squad under his command, Conte may feel the Blues have a chance to make the most of a season without the distractions of European football.

Will he attempt to bring Leonardo Bonucci to the club?

World class centre halves are as rare as they have ever been. Even rarer are those who are realistically able to buy. After his sublime Euro 2016 campaign, Leonardo Bonucci has emerged as perhaps the only truly world class centre-half who can be prised away this summer – although Juventus' reported £51m valuation of the player doesn't help matters. Ever since Conte's appointment at Stamford Bridge, the Juventus stalwart has been tipped to be the first man to follow him to west London. While Manchester City are now also in the frame, it will be compelling to see Conte address the possibility of a reunion with the 29-year-old defender. While John Terry may be sticking around for another season, finding his replacement remains paramount.

Will 3-5-2 be implemented straight away?

Conte used that formation in leading Juventus to three Scudetto successes during his spell in charge and again with Italy, culminating in that excellent Euro 2016 campaign. Surely the plan is to implement in in the Premier League? Perhaps most compellingly, it could mean a new position for Eden Hazard up front.

Is Cesc Fabregas part of his grand plan?

There has been no shortage of stories speculating on which players might not have a future under the Italian. The latest of those is Cesc Fabregas, with the Mirror claiming Jose Mourinho is lying in wait for the player he brought back to the Premier League two years ago. The report adds Conte is looking for a sterner, stronger presence in midfield, something that could make the Spain international surplus to requirements. We have seen the best and the worst of the former Arsenal skipper at Stamford Bridge. If he does have a future at Chelsea, Conte is likely to make that clear right away.

Does he have any intention of recalling Juan Cuadrado?

Given Juventus have no contractual option to sign him, the Colombia international's future hangs in the balance. Cuadrado has excelled in a role at right wing-back for his country and during his years in Serie A. A tactical shift to 3-5-2 could open up a spot for him in west London.