Chelsea interim coach Guus Hiddink has revealed that he will make himself available to lend advice to new coach Antonio Conte beyond this summer.
The Dutchman will hand over the reins at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, with Conte arriving after he fulfils his duties to Italy at Euro 2016 in France.
Having brought a sense of stability and a significant upturn in form since his arrival in December, Hiddink has seen his popularity with the Chelsea faithful continue to build in what is his second stint in charge.
Conte visited the club’s training ground on Tuesday, and Hiddink has revealed that he will be happy to help advise the Italian tactician and the club moving forward.
“I had a short meeting with him about general things — about football, about Italy, a bit about the club and the work we did in the past months, and that was it,” he told reporters, as noted by ESPN FC. “If needed, I’m available for the club because in the two spells I’ve been here and in between I’ve been visiting, this is a club I love very much.”
Meanwhile, Hiddink was keen to stress that it wouldn’t be easy for Conte, particularly in his first season in charge, as he has a rebuilding job to do at the club.
Having fallen short of expectations this year, Hiddink is concerned that there aren’t the world-class individuals that he had last time he was at the club, but he sees enough positive signs from the current group to suggest that they will be able to be successful.
“When I came in 2009 there was also this transition, but at that time the team was firm regarding the personalities. There were players like Lampard, Terry, Ballack, Essien, Drogba in the culture of the club. Now it’s a bit different and that’s not easy, but there is a brightness and energy to restore it.”
Conte will also likely be active in the summer transfer market in order to strengthen his squad, and it remains to be seen how he adjusts and copes with the pressures of the Premier League.