Transfer News: Antonio Conte's Bad Summer at Chelsea Takes New Twist

Antonio Conte's bumpy summer at Chelsea appeared to get a little smoother with a gritty victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday at Wembley.

Or maybe not.

According to a report in German football magazine SportBild, Chelsea has lost its patience with Conte, who won the Premier League in his first season as a manager in English football.

In the Italian's place, Chelsea is reportedly keen on appointing Thomas Tuchel, the 43-year-old German manager who spent two years at Borussia Dortmund before leaving the Bundesliga giant in May.

Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, and the Russian billionaire's senior adviser Marina Granovskaia have decided that Conte's reign as Chelsea manager has to end after Granovskaia's relationship with the 48-year-old deteriorated, it claims. Tuchel would be "interested" in the job.

While Conte should have credit in the bank following Chelsea's title triumph last season, two factors may count against him. Chelsea's summer has been tumultuous, beginning with a row between Conte and star striker Diego Costa and ending with Costa in exile in Brazil.

Then Chelsea lost 3-2 to Burnley at Stamford Bridge in its first Premier League game of the season, losing two players to red cards in the process. Throughout his 14 years as Chelsea owner, Abramovich has also shown a ruthlessness in dismissing managers. Even Jose Mourinho was not spared the axe, twice, despite being the most successful manager in Chelsea's recent history.

Tuchel has also won far less than Conte, although of course that may mean he feels he has more to prove than the former Juventus manager.

It would seem an extraordinary decision for Chelsea to dispose of Conte this early, especially given his relationship with the club's fans. But Abramovich and Granovskaia have little room for sentiment—possibly why Chelsea has remained a consistent winner through consistent upheaval. Even after last season, Conte looks like he may be on borrowed time.