The potential presence of Juliano Belletti at Stamford Bridge would give the new coach some support.
The manner in which Conte dealt with senior players like Costa and Luiz called into question his man-management skills and that likely sowed discord among the rest of his squad. The former Barcelona head coach isn't looking to get back into management before then, and his preferred pick for assistant, Juan Carlos Unzue is busy at least until then as well as head coach at Celta de Vigo.
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"We are Chelsea, a big club - and when we lose one game it's a bad time for us", Azpilicueta told the club's official website after a humbling defeat at Vicarage Road - Chelsea's first loss to Watford in any competition since 1999.
"We knew they were a bit under pressure so we wanted to get on them quick and as soon as possible at the start of the game".
Ancelotti also spoke of "red flags" in his book, the moments that sparked Abramovich's fury and served as warning signs of his growing frustration and impatience.
It was the ideal home debut for new Watford manager Javi Gracia as the team climbed to 11th place. When elimination occurs, it is usually a trigger for Abramovich to act.
Ahead of the game, Conte called on Chelsea's hierarchy to "prepare a statement.to say they trust me in my work", but it was another dismal evening for the titleholder, which is 19 points adrift of leader Manchester City. He might have been given more time to turn it around had he played a smarter game previous year, but he overplayed his hand and left himself with no credit in the bank for the inevitable tough times that have followed.
Blues boss Antonio Conte is on the brink at Stamford Bridge after a second successive defeat by three goals.