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Essien urges Chelsea to keep faith with Conte


Italy coach Antonio Conte preparing for Chelsea - Fabio Capello

Antonio Conte is already preparing for life as Chelsea manager when he leaves Italy in the summer, according to Fabio Capello.

Reports in Italy and England on Thursday claimed that Conte would sign a three-year contract worth around £6 million per year to take over as Chelsea manager within a matter of days, after positive talks between Blues officials and his representatives in London.

Conte is out of contract this summer and is reported to be learning English in anticipation of life in the Premier League.

Capello -- whose command of the language was frequently criticised during his time as England manager -- told Fox Sports Italia his countryman is "preparing himself for Chelsea" and said it is a wise move.

"The communication he has with the players is going to be fundamental," Capello said. "I had a difficult experience in Russia where I always had to speak through somebody who would interpret my ideas.

"It wasn't easy because the players always expect to hear the words that motivate them from the coach -- that decisive intervention which can help you understand something or change something."

Last week both Oscar and John Obi Mikel voiced their desire for interim boss Guus Hiddink to stay on beyond the end of the season.

The Dutchman, however, has repeatedly ruled himself out of the running for the permanent role and sources have told ESPN FC that he has never been under consideration

Chelsea beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary's on Saturday to extend their unbeaten Premier League run under Hiddink to 10 matches.

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.

ESPN FC's Italy correspondent Ben Gladwell contributed to this report


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