Chelsea Have Wielded The Big Stick On Antonio Conte
Chelsea have sacked Antonio Conte after two increasingly fractious years in charge with fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri set to be appointed as their new manager imminently.
The former Italian player, who claimed the Premier League title and an FA Cup in his two seasons at the club, had been anticipating the axe to fall all summer but, with Chelsea’s negotiations over the compensation due to Napoli to secure Sarri having proved complicated, he had returned to his office at Cobham last weekend.
Conte had refused to walk away unless the final year of his three-year contract was paid up in full.
He still has a year to run on a £9m-a-season deal, renegotiated last summer in the wake of the league championship triumph, and will be due a hefty payoff.
But a compensation agreement was finally reached on Thursday with Sarri set to be announced as his replacement shortly.
It is believed that Sarri will be joined by former Blues striker and club legend Gianfranco Zola who is set to join as part of a new-look backroom team.
Sarri is expected to be in charge of Chelsea’s pre-season training camp in Australia.
Chelsea are also close to signing Napoli midfielder Jorginho, who played under Sarri at Empoli and the Naples.