Home Sport News Chelsea sack coach Antonio Conte as Maurizio Sarri appointment looms

Chelsea sack coach Antonio Conte as Maurizio Sarri appointment looms

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Chelsea have sacked coach Antonio Conte after reaching a compensation agreement for the final year of his contract, paving the way for Maurizio Sarri to take over, sources have told ESPN FC.

Conte, who had refused to walk away from Chelsea unless the final year of his contract was paid in full, has been waiting since May to resolve his future at Stamford Bridge after winning the FA Cup, but difficulty in securing Sarri delayed the process.

Chelsea are expected to announce Sarri’s appointment on an initial two-year contract imminently — together with the signing of Italy international midfielder Jorginho for a combined fee of €65 million (£57.5m) — after convincing Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis to release the 59-year-old from his contract.

In May, Napoli appointed Carlo Ancelotti to replace Sarri amid speculation that the latter could take the Chelsea job.

Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have both publicly said they were seeking clarity on Chelsea’s summer plans before deciding whether to sign new long-term contracts, with the club facing a season without Champions League football after finishing fifth in the Premier League.

Conte led Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in England and followed up that achievement with an FA Cup triumph, but his relationship with the board became damaged beyond repair, highlighted by his repeated public and private complaints about transfer policy.

He also clashed with senior players such as Diego Costa and David Luiz while others had begun to grow weary of his methods. In the wake of Chelsea’s FA Cup win, Willian obscured Conte in a team celebration photograph posted on Instagram.

Chelsea hoped that another club might attempt to buy Conte out of the final year his Stamford Bridge contract as he was unwilling to resign, but Paris Saint-Germain’s appointment of Thomas Tuchel and Real Madrid’s choice of Julen Lopetegui eliminated the possibility.

Conte, who had only coached in his native Italy before joining Chelsea, most recently led the national team after three seasons in charge at Juventus.



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