Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Chelsea officially dismiss Conte with Sarri waiting in the wings

Jorginho GETTYJorginho made 33 Serie A appearances for a title-chasing Napoli team last year
Kristopher Love | 14 July, 2018, 07:31

Napoli's president revealed Sarri was close to finalising a deal to take over at Chelsea on Wednesday, two days before Conte's sacking was confirmed by the Premier League club.

Conte, 48, had returned to full pre-season training at the start of the week despite huge uncertainty surrounding his future at the club, but with one year left on his contract the Blues have made a decision to relieve the Italian tactician from his duties in west London.

Maurizio Sarri has been pictured outside Stamford Bridge ahead of his proposed appointment as Chelsea manager.

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 equalled the Premier League record for for consecutive wins (13), and the record number of wins in a season (30) when leading Chelsea to the title in 2016/17 season.

'We wish Antonio every success in his future career'.

He was in charge of the Italian national team before taking over at the Bridge in 2016.

The Spain international's departure appeared to have been the beginning of the end for Conte, whose relationship with the Chelsea board deteriorated throughout last term, especially after the sale of star midfielder Nemanja Matic to title rivals Manchester United, a move which Conte apparently did not sign off on.

The report claims that Zola has also said yes to a return to the West Londoners, with the former playmaker being regarded as the one of the best players in the club's history. "Great man, Great manager".

Sarri is a big fan of the striker, who played under him at Napoli, and Chelsea want to add more firepower to their squad. This text will now form the basis of Chelsea's evidence against their former manager.

They reportedly include Brazil-born Italy global midfielder Jorginho from Napoli, CSKA Moscow´s Russian playmaker Aleksandr Golovin and Italian defender Daniele Rugani from Juventus, the side that edged Napoli in the Serie A title race.