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Report: Chelsea considering AS Monaco’s Jardim as new manager

Manchester City FC v AS Monaco - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Leonardo Jardim head coach of AS Monaco looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Manchester City FC and AS Monaco at Etihad Stadium on February 21, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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It’s looking more likely every passing day that Antonio Conte will be departing Chelsea at the end of the season.

Even though Conte’s contract runs through 2019, Chelsea has reportedly already begun searching for a replacement, with the latest report linking the Blues with AS Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim.

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Jardim has rebuilt Monaco into a top club in France’s Ligue 1 over his four-year tenure, including a shock league title last year and a semifinal place in the UEFA Champions League.

At the same time, the Venezuelan-born, Portugal raised manager has a strong record of working with young players and with Chelsea’s squad potentially in transition, it may be a great signing for the club to help bring in some of the club’s top young players into the first team. Conte has been loathe to play most young players this season, sticking to his favored starting XI for most of the past two years.

In the past, Jardim said he wouldn’t leave Monaco unless for a bigger club, leading to speculation he could take the Paris Saint-Germain job this summer. However, Jardim shot that down last week.