EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea splashing the cash to prepare Antonio Conte for top job

Since Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December, interim boss Guus Hiddink has given first-team opportunities to 20-year-olds Kenedy, Bertrand Traore and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

But it is understood owner Roman Abramovich wants to see even younger players graduating to the first team and that’s why he wants Conte.

Skipper John Terry, 35, is the last player to come through the ranks to establish himself as a first-team regular.

But Conte will be given responsibility for the under-21s and under-18s in a bid to shake up the existing set-up.

During qualification for Euro 2016 Conte spoke regularly of his desire to bring in young, hungry players to the Italy national team.

He is expected to shun legendary Azzurri playmaker Andrea Pirlo, 36, for the finals France in favour of Marco Verratti of Paris St-Germain, who is 23.

He will then aim to prove he can do the same Stamford Bridge following a hugely disappointing season which has seen the club make a disastrous defence of their league title and crash out of the Champions League to PSG on Wednesday.

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