The former Chile boss claims he was Chelsea's top choice but admits he needed to improve his English before moving to the Premier League

Jorge Sampaoli claims he was Chelsea’s first managerial option before the club turned their attention to Antonio Conte.

Goal understands that the Italy coach has already visited Chelsea’s training ground and is close to agreeing a three-year contract worth £6.5 million per year.

But Sampaoli, who guided Chile to glory in the 2015 Copa America, admits his lack of fluency in English scuppered his move to Stamford Bridge.

“I had a meeting with Chelsea’s owner and he told me that I was the first option,” Sampaoli

“But then Conte appeared and it became a competition between us. It was him or me. I needed some time in order to improve my English but this kind of club doesn’t give you that time.”