Conte lined up for talks over Italy job

Alessandro Costacurta has said Antonio Conte is the best man to take over as Italy boss and that talks between the pair will “definitely” take place.

Former Italy defender Costacurta is the Italian Football Federation’s deputy commissioner and is leading the search for a new coach.

Conte left the job of Italy boss to take over at Chelsea in 2016 and has been heavily linked with a return amid reports he could leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season or sooner.

Giampiero Ventura succeeded Conte but was sacked in November after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup.

“I haven’t chosen yet but I think Conte is the one who could do the best,” Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport quoted Costacurta as saying.

“I’ll definitely talk with him in a couple of months.”

Costacurta is a former international team-mate of Conte

Conte has 18 months remaining on his contract at Chelsea.

The 48-year-old recently distanced himself from other comments by Costacurta suggesting the pair would discuss the possibility of Conte returning to his previous job.

Speaking earlier this month, Conte said: “Costacurta is a friend and we played together in the national team.

“Maybe he forgot I still have 18 months of a contract with Chelsea and my intention and my desire and my will is to respect this contract.”