Chelsea sack coach Antonio Conte as Maurizio Sarri appointment looms

Annette Crawford
July 13, 2018

Chelsea's players have returned to pre-season training at the club's base and will soon be introduced to their new manager as Conte departed the club yesterday afternoon.

"Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company", the club said in a statement.

Even Andre Villas-Boas, who was dismissed after nine months in 2012, was thanked for his contribution by the club, who even expressed their "disappointment that the relationship" ended prematurely.

Conte led Chelsea FC to the Premier League title in his first season in charge after the Blues finished seven points ahead of their closest title challengers Tottenham Hotspur. Despite this, they managed to pick up some silverware by beating Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup final in May, though Conte had been anticipating the sack this summer.

Sarri has been favourite to succeed his compatriot after impressing as manager of Serie A side Napoli, who have replaced him with former Chelsea handler Carlo Ancelotti.

Conte's future with the Roman Abramovich-owned club has looked uncertain for months, however, with the West Londoners failing to qualify for the coming season's Champions League after finishing fifth last season.

Sarri didn't win a major title at Napoli, however, and that would not be tolerated at Chelsea.

Jorginho and Sarri together again?

If Conte had quit and taken another job, it would have eased the cost of Chelsea's latest managerial change.

While no official announcement has been made from either Chelsea or Napoli, Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas took to Twitter yesterday afternoon to pay his respects toward Conte.

The former Juventus boss was one of the managers on Madrid's shortlist after Zinedine Zidane's departure in May but he refused.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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