Antonio Conte: Chelsea sack Italian after two years in charge

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Chelsea's players have returned to pre-season training at the club's base and will soon be introduced to their new manager as Conte departed the club yesterday afternoon.

Conte leaves amid reports in the British and Italian media that former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri will take over at Chelsea for next season.

Chelsea have delivered a telling insight regarding their relationship with sacked manager Antonio Conte after confirming the departure of the Italian boss.

The Blues were unable to defend their title, finishing fifth last season and missing out on Champions League.

The 48-year-old departs Stamford Bridge less than two months after guiding Chelsea to FA Cup final glory against Manchester United.

Current Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas also expressed his gratitude to Conte, whose FA Cup win in May does not appear to have been sufficient to keep him in the hotseat. "I wish you every success in the future".

Sarri, who split his time between banking and playing football before he took up coaching aged 40, has not won a major honour in three years at Napoli but has guided the club to finishes of second, third and second again.

The main reason for the prolonged saga has been compensation.

Conte led Chelsea to a brilliant title triumph in his first year after inheriting a team that finished 10th the previous season.

Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola and Giovanni Martusciello are expected to join Sarri's backroom staff while Italian-Brazilian midfielder, Jorginho, is now undergoing a medical at Cobham and will also follow Sarri from Naples to London.

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