Antonio Conte has been sacked by Chelsea after two seasons in charge of the club with outgoing Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri expected to take over in the coming days.
Conte, who won the Premier League and the FA Cup in his two seasons at the club, expected to get the axe after relations increasingly turned sour but with negotiations becoming complicated with Napoli over Sarri, Conte returned to the club this week to take charge of pre-season.
He had a year to run on a £9m-a-season deal, renegotiated last summer in the wake of the league 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 48-year-old across the remainder of his deal, though that is unlikely to be easy.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis announced on Wednesday that “Sarri is close to being new Chelsea manager. My lawyers are in talks with his lawyers to finalise everything.”