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Chelsea given fresh headache, new problem in bid to keep influential figure

Italy boss Gian Piero Ventura is having a nightmare tenure in charge of the Azzurri, and his position could be in jeopardy moving forward.

Having failed to qualify for the World Cup through the group qualification stage, Italy have had to go through the playoffs and have to now overturn a 1-0 deficit against Sweden when they two sides meet again for the second leg in Milan on Monday night.

Ultimately, they haven’t impressed through the qualification process, but failure to secure a place in Russia would surely raise serious question marks over Ventura’s future as Italy boss.

According to La Stampa and Corriere della Sera, as per Calciomercato, the Italian FA could start to consider replacements sooner rather than later and two names have appeared in the reports.

One is Carlo Ancelotti who has become available after leaving Bayern Munich earlier this season, but worryingly for Chelsea, Antonio Conte is also mentioned.

The 48-year-old enjoyed a positive spell in charge of the national team between 2014 and 2016 to build on the fine work that he did at Juventus, as he guided Italy to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

In turn, bringing him back would arguably be welcomed across the board, particularly given the regression seen under Ventura since he was appointed.

Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, but troubles have been brewing since with the club struggling to replicate the success that they enjoyed last year with additional pressure from the fixture schedule with the introduction of European football.

As a result, it remains to be seen whether or not Conte would be keen on returning to the national team post, with the Metro noting last month that he was homesick and was contemplating leaving Chelsea at the end of the season.

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