Chelsea are reportedly in talks to bring Antonio Conte back to Stamford Bridge, and Lorenzo Bettoni explains why the Italian’s return would make sense and why it doesn’t.

Conte has been without a club since leaving Tottenham in March 2023, and even if several sources, including Football Italia’s Matteo Moretto, insist his priority is to return to Serie A this summer, several Premier League clubs have been linked with the ex-Juventus and Inter coach.

La Repubblica has reported that Chelsea is pushing to bring the Italian tactician back to Stamford Bridge and have made a considerable transfer budget available to strengthen the team next season. Conte already won a Premier League title and an FA Cup with the Blues during his two-year spell at the club. The question is: Would his return to Stamford Bridge make sense?

Why Conte’s return to Chelsea would work

Conte is known to be a very demanding coach regarding transfers, and Chelsea can offer him a higher budget than any other Italian club. Napoli, Juventus and Milan have been linked with the 54-year-old, but none of these clubs will predictably spend as much as Chelsea next summer. The Italian coach is also a fantastic problem-solver, everyone is aware of it, including Chelsea and their fans.

The Blues ended the 2015-16 campaign in tenth before his appointment, but they won the domestic title under the Italian tactician the following season. The former Italy international also led Juventus to their first Serie A title in the post-Calciopoli era, going on to win three consecutive Scudetti, and then put an end to the Old Lady’s domestic domination nine years later, winning Inter’s first title in ten years.

Although Conte has been unable to develop long-term projects at any club in his career, his appointment usually brings immediate benefits to any side he joins. Even Tottenham can say the same as Spurs qualified for the Champions League in 2021-22 after Conte was hired to replace Nuno Espirito Santo in November.

Why Conte’s Serie A return would not make sense

Regardless of Conte’s priority to remain in Serie A for familiar reasons, a return to Stamford Bridge could be tricky for the Italian tactician and may not match his ambition as a coach.

Conte said in his latest interview with The Telegraph in February that his dream is to win the Champions League one day. He’d need time to make the Blues credible contenders for the cup with the big ears in the near future, not to mention that the Blues won’t even play in the competition next season. His latest claims suggest Conte wants to take a step forward in his career, going from clubs that are eager to return to greatness to already established clubs that need a final step to become European champions.

In this scenario, Bayern Munich would be the only team that could offer Conte this chance, given that Napoli are in a similar situation as Chelsea domestically, while Juventus and Milan are comfortably among the top four clubs in Italy but are pretty far away from the European elite.

Last but not least, Chelsea’s organisation as a club under owner Todd Boehly appears pretty weak, so Conte would predictably struggle a little more to make his voice heard and to plan a winning transfer strategy in the summer. Don’t forget that when he won titles in Italy, Juventus and Inter were incredibly solid in terms of club organisation with Beppe Marotta at the helm, while Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea could rely on Marina Granovskaia’s vision and decision-making to make things work at Stamford Bridge.

Conte will consider all these aspects before making a final decision on his next club and Chelsea’s firepower and lucrative offer will not be the only aspect he’ll take into account before picking his next club.

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