Chelsea sack Antonio Conte

Chelsea have sacked Antonio Conte as their manager after finally reaching a £9million agreement to terminate his contract.

The club has been keen to get rid of the Italian for a considerable amount of time and now have plans in place for Maurizio Sarri to come in as his replacement with Stamford Bridge icon Gianfranco Zola expected to be his No 2.

Conte left his position at Chelsea on Thursday morning and said his goodbyes to the players and staff at the club’s Cobham training ground.

The Chelsea players and staff were subsequently given the afternoon off from pre-season training and are not expected to return for a session until later this week.

Despite question marks looming over his future, Conte had attempted to carry on as normal by returning to work last Saturday to begin Chelsea’s pre-season preparations.

He had also prepared a pre-season schedule but will no longer carry the team forward as the club continues to negotiate with Napoli over a fee for Sarri’s release.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is understood to have convened a meeting in Capri earlier this week with Napoli counterpart Aurelio De Laurentiis to go over the finer details of Sarri’s appointment.

The 59-year-old is now expected to be announced as Conte’s successor in the coming days after a breakthrough in talks and will go with the team to Australia next week for their pre-season tour as the club’s desperate attempts to resolve their managerial situation in good time before the Premier League season begins next month.

Conte’s long-term future at Chelsea had appeared bleak for some time after he made numerous public outbursts regarding the club’s transfer policy last season. – Daily Mail

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