Antonio Conte has been relieved of his duties at Stamford Bridge after 2 years in charge of the London club, Maurizio Sarri, who was at Napoli last season, is set to be confirmed as Chelsea’s new head coach.
Conte, 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.
The Italian even took training on Thursday morning before, with the players sent home for the afternoon, confirmation came of his sacking.
He still had 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. Conte is likely to take a sabbatical while he considers his next move. It remains to be seen whether Chelsea can strike an agreement to compensate the 47-year-old across the remainder of his deal, though that is unlikely to be easy.