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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is Italy's top choice as national coach

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is the preferred candidate to take over as Italy coach, according to Italian federation vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta.

Conte, whose future at Chelsea remains uncertain, has one more season remaining on his three-year contract at Stamford Bridge. Upon leading Chelsea to the title last season, Conte signed a new deal but was only given a pay rise, not an extension.

The 48-year-old coached Italy to the quarter-finals of the 2016 European Championships before joining the London club.

Former AC Milan defender Costacurta, who is leading the search for the next Italy coach, intends to speak with Conte before the end of the season about the role.

Costacurta told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I haven't chosen yet but I think Conte is the one who could do the best. I'll definitely talk with him in a couple of months."

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