AC Milan still hope to persuade Antonio Conte to leave Chelsea despite appointing Gennaro Gattuso, and have held secret talks with the Italian, according to reports.

Milan sacked Vincenzo Montella on Monday after a run of two league wins in their last nine games and put Gattuso – who had been managing the club’s youth side – in charge of first-team duties.

But the 39-year-old former midfielder is not Milan’s long-term choice, and according to Gazzetta dello Sport they have been sounding out Conte over the role.

He has already spoken with the Rossoneri’s leadership and told them he would be open to taking charge at the San Siro, though would not be able to swap clubs until the end of the season.

Conte likes the idea of returning to Serie A and, despite his wife and daughter joining him in Chelsea this year, continues to pine for a return to his homeland.