Giampiero Ventura joked that he will manage Chelsea when Antonio Conte eventually departs as the new Italy boss attempts to fill the void left by his “good luck charm”.
Ventura took charge of the national team after Conte left for Premier League side Chelsea following Italy’s quarter-final run at Euro 2016, and the pair have shared similar paths in Italian football.
After Conte guided Bari to promotion from Serie B in 2008-09, Ventura was appointed at the Stadio San Nicola and as the 68-year-old attempts to replicate the success of his predecessor, he hopes to continue following in the footsteps of the former.
“I managed Bari after he won the Serie B title there and everybody was in love with him there,” Ventura told reporters.
“Conte is a good luck charm for me because my time in Bari was great and we did important things.
“I came to the national team after an amazing Euros for Conte’s Italy. We will see if I will be able to replicate these achievements.
“I think that I will manage Chelsea when he leaves the Blues’ bench and that’s why I’m already trying to improve my English.”
“I got in touch with Conte three minutes ago. I asked him, ‘how are you’, and he said, ‘fine’. His English is perfect now,” continued Ventura, who will kick-off his era as Italy coach against France in an international friendly on Thursday before facing Israel in a World Cup qualifier four days later.
“He wished me good luck. He was very kind. I also got in touch with him before he signed for Chelsea.”