With Europe’s big leagues taking breaks in line with international football taking place, there is time for negotiations at club level. That is exactly what’s happened this week as Antonio Conte has reportedly held talks with Paris Saint-Germain, who are thought to be looking to replace Unai Emery after another unsuccessful UEFA Champions League campaign.
Not only is this big news regarding PSG’s search for a new boss but it also affects Chelsea’s managerial situation. With Conte on his alleged last legs at Stamford Bridge, it is still important that the Blues can secure a place in next year’s Champions League, which is seeming less likely every week. Without the promise of Europe’s elite competition, the Premier League champions might struggle to attract the calibre of manager they are after.
There are several strong reports linking Luis Enrique to the Chelsea job but surely a man who won the biggest prize during his time managing Barcelona would want to compete for the trophy again next term. It isn’t necessarily in Conte’s best interests to see Chelsea into the Champions League but after such a dominant title win last season, he won’t want to tarnish any legacy he has in West London by a failure at the end of this campaign.
Former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has also been linked with a return to the side with whom he won the Premier League title while rumours of Thomas Tuchel have been put to bed as he has agreed, in principle, to join Arsenal at the beginning of next season, replacing Arsene Wenger.
If Antonio Conte does join Paris Saint-Germain, it will be a shrewd appointment for the Ligue 1 leaders but Chelsea need to act fast to source his replacement before all of their potential candidates have been snapped up by European rivals.