A move that has long been in gestation, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is on the verge of leaving Chelsea, paving the way for the introduction of former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri at the helm of the Blues.
A figure of £9.5 million has been agreed as compensation for Conte and his backroom staff, who will leave Stamford Bridge after just two seasons. These two years have reaped the rewards of an FA Cup and, more impressively, a Premier League title in Conte’s inaurgal season as head honcho. Conte, however, has been visually disgruntled on the touchline for the majority of the past year and speculation continued to increase about his departure in the summer.
Sarri, meanwhile, was recently inharmoniously replaced as Napoli manager by former Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti, despite a hugely impressive season when the Partenopei made their best push for the Scudetto in years, running champions Juventus extremely close to the end of the season.
Napoli now will require £3.5million in compensation for Sarri.
A dream partnership for Blues fans of Sarri and Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola is now set to come into effect by the end of the week, with Zola cutting short his punditry work for South African TV to fly to London.
The situation is expected to be resolved by the end of the week, but it is exciting news for fans of Chelsea who will expect Sarri’s visually attractive style of football in West London next season.
It is a bittersweet end for Conte, who will now be searching for another management position.