Chelsea have been given a huge boost ahead of Antonio Conte’s arrival after the Italy manager was cleared of match fixing.
Conte will officially take over from outgoing interim boss Guus Hiddink after leading out his country at this summer’s European Championships in France.
He will now head to west London with a sporting fraud trial behind him after judge Pierpaolo Beluzzi ruled in favour of the incoming Chelsea boss.
Former Juventus coach Conte was accused of failing to report fixing while in charge of Siena, an allegation which he has always publicly denied.
“I learned with great satisfaction the acquittal of Antonio Conte today by the court in Cremona,” Italian Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio told reporters.
“Finally his position has been clarified. My confidence in him was never questioned. Now we’re all even more focused on the Euros.”
Cremona attorney general Antonio Di Martino was seeking a six-month suspended sentence for Conte, who was one of several defendants at the trial.
The trial was fast-tracked in April in a bid to reach a verdict in advance of the Euros and Conte’s move to England to work in the Premier League.
Conte , who has denied wrongdoing, served a four-month ban during the 2012 to 2013 season during his time at Juventus after failing to report fixing at Siena.