Chelsea have officially sacked Antonio Conte ahead of hiring new manager Maurizio Sarri as the Stamford Bridge saga nears a welcome end after dragging on for several weeks.
Chelsea have been desperately trying to negotiate a deal for ex-Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri at the same time as attempting to deal with the delicate Conte situation, with the club liable to pay out up to £9m in compensation for terminating his contract 12 months early.
A statement on the club’s website reads: “Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company. During Antonio’s time at the club, we won our sixth league title and eighth FA Cup.
“In the title winning season, the club set a then-record 30 wins in a 38-game Premier League season, as well as a club-record 13 consecutive league victories.
“We wish Antonio every success in his future career.”
Conte delivered a Premier League title in stunning fashion in 2016/17, but relations between the coach and his Stamford Bridge bosses are thought to have been strained for many months, largely as a result of disagreements over transfer policy and level of control.
Conte’s Chelsea could only finish fifth in the Premier League this season, missing out on the Champions League for the second time in three seasons and throwing further uncertainty onto the future of several key players, including Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard.
Chelsea started pre-season training earlier this month, led by Conte, and face upcoming friendlies against Inter, Arsenal and Lyon before playing the Community Shield curtain raiser against Premier League champions Manchester City on 5th August.