Chelsea sack coach Antonio Conte as Maurizio Sarri appointment looms

Napoli star Jorginho

Antonio Conte, who won the Premier League and FA Cup during two years with Chelsea, has been sacked as the club's manager.

A new contract worth over £300,000-a-week remains on the table, but there is a feeling around the 27-year-old that, following such a good World Cup, that it is time for a new challenge.

Sky Sports reports that Sarri has finalized terms with the West London club, with Chelsea legend, Giafranco Zola set to join the coaching staff as his assistant.

Conte won the Premier League title in his debut season following his spell as national team boss at Italy.

In Terry's final season at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea sailed to the 2016/17 Premier League title in a convincing fashion in what was a fitting end to the defender's time with his boyhood club.

"I wish you every success in the future".

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Media reports said Conte's departure would take to 85 million pounds the amount Chelsea has spent on paying off sacked managers - nearly the record fee Manchester United paid in 2016 for France midfielder Paul Pogba.

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.

Understandably, the former Juventus boss did not want to miss out on his £9m Chelsea payoff and returned for pre-season training this week. Sarri spent three years at the club and led them to two runner-up finishes and a third place, playing an entertaining and high-energy brand of football like that seen at Man City under Pep Guardiola, Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino, and Liverpool under Juergen Klopp.

The main reason for the prolonged saga has been compensation.

Conte's volcanic intensity also alienated some insiders, including leading players whose discontent filtered out.

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