So, the worst kept secret in football has finally been addressed and Antonio Conte has been confirmed as the club’s new manager once he finishes with Italy at Euro 2016.
The famously hard nosed Italian will be taking over a side who will have meekly handed over their Premier League title and a club in a transitional period.
It’s unclear as to whether either Diego Costa or Eden Hazard will remain in West London, though Conte will surely have big plans of his own when it comes to player recruitment.
As you might expect from a man with such a deep connection to Serie A, there have been a plethora of Italian and Italy based stars linked with Stamford Bridge.
Whether Conte will be using his vast knowledge of the area or not isn’t abundantly clear, but it does promise to be an exciting summer for the Blues nonetheless.
After such a torrid defence of their title, things could well be looking up for the club. Undoubtedly, a change in manager brings an air of excitement to a place that has appeared cripplingly toxic for most of the season.
Who could he bring in? Well these five big names could soon find themselves in West London.
January window saw Blues midfielder Ramires leave the club in a shock move to the ludicrously lucrative Chinese Super League. While clearly it was a deal too good to turn down, the dynamism he brought to the midfield is becoming more and more apparent the longer he is gone.
In an effort to combat this, the club have reportedly turned their attentions to Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan. To describe the 26-year old as a ‘dynamo’ would be the understatement of the century – he really is tireless.
While mainly a defensive midfielder, shielding the backline, he’s also exceptionally calm in his distribution of the ball and could prove to be perfect foil to Cesc Fabregas in deeper positions.
Exactly the type of individual required to help Conte kick off a new era.
Speaking of new eras, the fact that John Terry is looking increasingly likely to call an end to his illustrious Stamford spell at the end of the season will have a big impact going forward.
Gary Cahill is as dependable as ever, though Kurt Zouma’s injury surely makes defensive additions necessary.
Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, who has both worked and excelled under the stewardship of Conte for club and country, has been touted as a potential heir to Terry.
The 28-year old is as rock solid as they come and could serve as a trusty lieutenant to the new boss as he looks to initially stamp his authority.
Like Terry, the Italian boasts an astute reading of the game rather than electric pace. He’s elegant enough on the ball to truly establish himself as the beating heart of the backline should he eventually make the move.
The curios case of James Rodriguez at Real Madrid continues. Clearly an exceptionally gifted player, the Colombian midfielder is reportedly up for sale after questions about his personal life continue to be asked.
Chelsea are lacking bonafide world stars. Eden Hazard is seemingly doing his best to play his way out of that particular bracket and his future remains unclear.
Though things haven’t gone to plan for the 2014 World Cup sensation this term, he would represent a wonderful signing for Chelsea.
For a club that harbour the sort of aspirations they do, they need an improvement on Oscar in the Number 10 role. Rodriguez would be a superstar addition to area that needs somewhat of a spruce up, especially if Hazard ends up leaving.
Like the Hazard situation, Chelsea already boast an exceptionally good striker, though his future is still up in the air.
When firing on all cylinders, Diego Costa is undoubtedly one of the top marksmen on the continent. However, the nature of the Spaniard means unless the stars are permanently aligned, that doesn’t happen all that often.
There are few better than the former Atletico Madrid man, though one claimant to that praise has been linked with a move to West London.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be in demand this summer as his contract with Paris Saint-Germain winds down. Despite being well into the autumn of his career, the 34-year old looks to only be getting better.
The Blues need to make a mark this summer and bringing in a player of such stature would surely do that.
While both at Juventus, Arturo Vidal was the beating heart of Conte’s side that dominated Serie A for three years.
Now with Bayern Munich, the combative Chilean has been linked with making a reunion with his former boss when he touches down at Stamford Bridge this summer.
In a season that has seen a player like N’Golo Kante rightly heralded for his tireless work rate, one would surely wonder just how many plaudits Vidal would get for a similar thing.
The 28-year old is tough in the tackle and obsessed with reclaiming possession, but his time in Bavaria has shown he is an excellent distributor of the ball and can carve out chances when flying wingers run past him.