ANTONIO CONTE is set to be offered an escape route from Chelsea by AC Milan who are closing to sacking Vincenzo Montella.

Failure to win at Sassuolo tonight is likely to spell the end of Montella’s two-year reign at the San Siro following a poor start to the season.

Milan could only manage a goalless draw against AEK Athens in the Europa League last week and the club's Chinese owners are rapidly losing patience with the ex-Fulham loanee.

Conte has endured a torrid early defence of Chelsea’s Premier League crown as the Blues are currently 12 points behind pace setters Manchester City going into today’s matches.

And the Champions League hammering in Roma last week only produced a heart-to-heart with his players but also a rare training ground visit from Roman Abramovich.