It’s official: Antonio Conte will be leading Chelsea next season

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Chelsea has announced Guus Hiddink’s successor, and a poorly-kept secret is officially out in the open.

Antonio Conte is headed to Stamford Bridge on a three-year contract, leaving the Italian national team after the Euros.

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Conte played at Lecce and then Juventus until 2004, then embarking on a managerial career that counts stops at Bari, Atalanta, Juventus, Siena and Italy.

From ChelseaFC.com:

The 46-year-old said: ‘I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club. I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that.

‘Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.

‘I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.’

Conte’s a hardline guy, but has won more than half of his matches at his last three stops: Siena, Juventus and Italy.

That includes close to a 68 percent winning percentage with The Old Lady from 2011-14, where he was he a three-time Serie A Coach of the Year across a trio of scudetti.