- Conte to resign as Italy coach after Euro 2016
- Says he wants to return to club role
- Former Juventus boss linked with Chelsea
(CNN)Is Antonio Conte about to swap the blue of Italy for the blue of Chelsea?
The 46-year-old has announced he will step down as coach of the national team after Euro 2016, revealing he is keen to go back to club management.
That will only intensify rumors that he is poised to be installed at English Premier League club Chelsea, which is searching for a new boss to take over next season.
"I feel that I must return to managing a club with the opportunity of coaching every day," the former Juventus coach said on his official Facebook page.
"At this time all of our concentration is focused on (Euro 2016) where we will try with work and sacrifice to take advantage of our potential.
"Those who know me are aware that I will give everything I have."
Conte took the Italy job in 2014 after guiding Juventus, where he made over 500 appearances as a player, to three straight Italian league titles in Serie A.
But that three-year stint was marred in 2011 when he was banned for 10 months for failing to report an approach made to him about fixing a match while he was in charge at lowly Siena.
That was reduced to a four-month touchline ban on appeal and Juve still managed to retain its league crown despite its manager's spell on the sidelines.
He has been heavily tipped to take the Chelsea job when Guus Hiddink leaves at the end of this season.
The Dutchman was parachuted in for his second spell as interim boss after the reigning EPL champion sacked Jose Mourinho in December, but is adamant he will only do the job until the end of the campaign.
Conte helped Italy go unbeaten during qualifiers for Euro 2016, finishing top of its group ahead of the June 10-July 10 tournament in France.
However, he is missing the day-to-day job of a club coach, according to Italian Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio.
"We have always counted on him and talk to each other almost every day," Tavecchio said on the federation's official website. "We will evaluate the situation calmly and accept his decision.
"He has always worked with dedication and professionalism. He has helped Italy to improve their image as a national team and I am very grateful for that.
"We will complete all of the necessary steps because the national team is our main interest."