Chelsea have sacked Italian Antonio Conte. (Source: Reuters)
Chelsea have sacked Italian Antonio Conte as manager, media in Britain and Italy reported on Thursday. Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said on Wednesday that the Premier League side were close to securing a deal for former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to replace Conte.
Conte has been removed from his position after two years at the London club after they missed out on Champions League qualification with a disappointing fifth place finish in the Premier League. However, in his maiden season, he led the Blues to the league title. In his final game, Conte managed Chelsea to an FA Cup title.
Chelsea have been on the look out for a new manager for some time and the sacking comes as no surprise for many. With Carlo Ancelotti taking over at Napoli, Chelsea intensified in their discussions for the coup with Sarri coming alongside midfielder Jorginho, a player that the 59-year-old former Empoli coach had specifically requested be signed by the Chelsea top brass.
Manchester City had been in the running to sign Jorginho but an opportunity to continue to work under Sarri, in new conditions, played a key factor in his choice of joining Chelsea. He is expected to sign a £53m move to Stamford Bridge soon.
Sarri will be joined in the Chelsea backroom staff by club legend Gianfranco Zola.