Maurizio Sarri, Gianfranco Zola agree deals with Chelsea?

Maurizio Sarri, Gianfranco Zola agree deals with Chelsea?

Conte led Chelsea FC to the Premier League title in his first season in charge after the Blues finished seven points ahead of their closest title challengers Tottenham Hotspur.

Conte took preseason training this week at Chelsea's practice base in Cobham with players who hadn't featured at the Fifa World Cup, but reports emerged in the Italian media on Thursday (Friday NZT) saying Conte had been fired.

He's heading to Chelsea along with his former manager at Napoli, Maurizio Sarri.

Chelsea began a terse, four-sentence statement on its website, "Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company". "In the title winning season, the club set a then-record 30 wins in a 38-game season".

"I wish you every success in the future".

Until recently, Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea in the same sentence was not something we would have expected to see.

The chain smoking former Empoli manager - who will have to restrain himself on the touchline in England where smoking is banned - was named Serie A Coach of the Year in 2016-17.

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The 26-year-old joined from Torino for £23m last summer but has failed to make an impact at Stamford Bridge, with many of his 22 Premier League appearances last season coming as a substitute.

Sarri would be the 12th managerial appointment by Chelsea, permanent or otherwise, since Abramovich acquired the club in 2003 and they have not come or gone cheaply.

Whilst the club has been stuck in limbo courtesy of the situation regarding Conte's future, transfer negotiations have carried on, although sales have been complicated.

Conte has been sacked after two years at Chelsea.

The Spain international's departure appeared to have been the beginning of the end for Conte, whose relationship with the Chelsea board deteriorated throughout last term, especially after the sale of star midfielder Nemanja Matic to title rivals Manchester United, a move which Conte apparently did not sign off on.

"Thank You Boss", Terry posted on Instagram alongside a photo of the two of them holding the Premier League trophy.

Media reports said Conte's departure would take to 85 million pounds the amount Chelsea has spent on paying off sacked managers - nearly the record fee Manchester United paid in 2016 for France midfielder Paul Pogba.