Premier League

Hiddink calls for Chelsea transparency

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Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink hopes the club will be transparent over their reported approach for Antonio Conte.

Conte has been widely linked with the role at Stamford Bridge, which will become vacant when Hiddink steps down from his temporary role at the end of the season, with some reports suggesting the Italy boss has already agreed a three-year deal that will be announced in the coming days.

Whatever the outcome, Hiddink would rather the news be announced than for the club to allow the speculation to drag on.

He told reporters at Friday’s news conference: “I am in favour, and this is a personal opinion, that when things are done make it transparent.”

He denied having any knowledge of the club’s reported pursuit of Conte, however, telling journalists: “You have heard more than me because that’s your job, you have to search around to find the rumours.

“Our job is the next game. I am not involved in this [the search].

“Of course, this club is searching now and they like experienced managers. It’s up to them to make up their mind and their decisions.”

Hiddink is a vastly-experienced former international coach having had two spells in charge of his native Netherlands as well as stints with South Korea – who he led to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals, Australia, Russia and Turkey.

And he accepts there are plenty of differences between coaching a national side and a club team.

“There is a lot. When you’re at a club, you have a daily influence on a way of playing and player behaviour on the pitch and off it,” he added.

“When you are a national team manager, you have players for three or four days and then a game. It’s more difficult to get things as you wish.”

Despite being reluctant to talk about Conte specifically, Hiddink was willing to offer advice to any coach wanting to work abroad.

“It’s always exciting to get, as soon as possible, into the culture of a club and the language. When it’s a difficult language, you can prepare your own football language.”

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