Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has given his support to Antonio Conte, whose imminent move to Stamford Bridge has been marred over allegations towards the Italian’s integrity.
Conte will take over as manager of the Blues in the summer once his commitments with the Italy national side at Euro 2016 are done and dusted.
But although he will be keen to focus purely on football-related matters, prosecutors in his home country have called for a suspended six-month prison sentence and a hefty fine over accusations that Conte was aware of match-fixing during his time at Siena.
A verdict is believed to be reached this month ahead of the European Championships and Ancelotti, who managed Conte during his playing days and spent two years at Chelsea between 2009 and 2011, has moved to support his compatriot’s honesty and insist that he “won’t come with a stain.”
“It’s bulls***,” Ancelotti told The Times “His case will be solved without problem for him. He won’t come with a stain.
“In Italy, they make a big case because it’s him. But, with Antonio, I can put my hand in the fire for him. He’s really serious, really honest, a really, really good man.
“He was my captain at Juventus. He was always really serious, really focused, really concentrated. As a manager he’s the same.
“He has really good experience, starting in the second division. So he won titles [with Bari and Siena] before Juventus. He’s really focused on the little details. I’m sure he will do a good job.”
Ancelotti also revealed that he has spoken to Conte who is said to be “excited” at the prospect of moving to the Premier League, with Chelsea currently amidst a huge rebuilding job.
“Chelsea understand that this is a new cycle. One period stops and another starts. They have to replace Terry, Lampard, not just as players but the personality, the image.
“Every club has this moment, AC Milan when they lost Maldini, Gattuso. It takes time to replace the structure. It makes it a big challenge. But I spoke with Antonio and he’s really excited.”
Guus Hiddink’s side currently sit ninth in the table and were last week confirmed as the worst ever defending Premier League champions in the competition’s history after losing out 3-2 to Sunderland, their 12th defeat of the campaign.
They will be without European football under Conte in 2015/16 which could have huge ramifications in their attempts to sign big-name players, but Ancelotti is nonetheless sure that the incoming Italian is the right man to take the club back to the top.
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