Reports have suggested that Italy manager Antonio Conte has agreed a deal in principle with Chelsea but he wants to bring in a director of football to the club, according to the Express.

Roma’s sporting director Walter Sabatini has held his current role since 2011 and has been influential in a number of signings for the club including Marquinhos, Erik Lamela and Miralem Pjanic and was awarded the best director of football award for the 2013–14 Serie A season for his work.

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With managerial rival Massimiliano Allegri set to be offered a new contract by Juventus, the path has been cleared for Conte to join the Blues with the 46-year-old due to leave his job after Euro 2016 and he has said he would like to return to club football.

Conte has already had two meetings in London with Chelsea representatives but his desire to bring in a director of football could be a sticking point in finalising the negotiations.

Chelsea already have a technical director in Michael Emenalo and an established board structure.

Given Conte’s success with rebuilding teams, which is one of the key factors in owner Roman Abramovich appointing him, it may be of concern to the Italian that he will not be able to control his squad.

With Chelsea’s European fate for next season still in the balance, a number of key players could leave Conte short on quality, therefore making the transfer market a core element of the job.

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