Pirlo backs Conte to succeed at Chelsea

Italian legend Andrea Pirlo is confident Antonio Conte will be successful at Chelsea if he is given the job as the club’s manager for next season.

Conte, who brought Pirlo to Juventus in 2011, is reportedly in talks with the Blues to take over the reigns at Stamford Bridge when Guus Hiddink’s short-term deal runs out at the conclusion of the current campaign.

Pirlo believes his former mentor would be a success at any club as long as they give him the freedom to make his own decisions as the manager with little to no interference.

“I love the man, I have nothing but respect and admiration for him. I know if he takes a job, any job, it will have to be on his terms,” Pirlo told the Mirror.

“The players he wants to sign, those he wants to get rid of, the style he wants to play.

“If you sign him as your coach and then as the owner you want to start making decisions, he is not the coach for you. If you let him get on with things and do his methods, then you will have a team that plays attractive football and will, without doubt, be successful.”

Chelsea face a tough trip to in-form Southampton on Saturday as they look to continue their recovery from a poor first half of the season and move into the top half of the table.