Italy coach Antonio Conte reportedly met with Chelsea representatives in Rome over the last few days as speculation continues to grow over his future.
The former Juventus boss will see his contract with the FIGC expire after Euro 2016, and despite numerous suggestions that he is still open to signing an extension, he has yet to put pen to paper.
In turn, that has raised doubts about his future in the position, and led to other interested parties sounding out his availability later this summer.
With the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Massimiliano Allegri and Diego Simeone all linked with the job at Stamford Bridge, it appears as though Conte has potentially leapfrogged them all and become the favourite with claims that he discussed the role with Chelsea officials, according to Sky Sport Italia, as noted by Football Italia.
Allegri has already ruled himself out of the running as he insists that he is happy in Turin with Juve, while Tottenham will likely make it very difficult for Pochettino to move across London should the tactician even be interested in the position.
In contrast, Simeone has reportedly made it clear that he is open to the job with the Premier League champions, which in turn has forced Atletico Madrid to put a contingency plan in place.
However, it now looks as though Conte could be the frontrunner with Roman Abramovich continuing his search for a long-term successor to Jose Mourinho, who was sacked in December.
Guus Hiddink remains in temporary charge until the end of the season, and despite an upturn in form since the Dutchman’s arrival, he is not expected to be in contention in the summer.