Antonio Conte

Chelsea have officially confirmed the sacking of Antonio Conte with Sarri expected to take charge. The decision to relieve Conte of his managerial duties at the club was taken on Thursday afternoon, although the club made the announcement in a brief statement on Thursday morning.

“Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company,” it read. “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.”

The Italian was dismissed after training on Thursday afternoon, as the news his services were no longer required was delivered by Chairman Bruce Buck. The dismissal was such that the manager had no chance to say his goodbyes to his players as they had left.

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Conte had refused to quit Chelsea, even though a three-year deal has been agreed in principle with Maurizio Sarri several weeks ago. Sarri is now expected in London to sign the contract and lead the squad to a pre-season tour of Australia on Wednesday.

Chelsea had hoped that Conte would get another job which would prevent them from making his pay-off of £9m, but the Italian appeared to be provoked by the board’s conduct that he rejected an approach from Real Madrid after Zinedine Zidane resigned in May.

Reports in Italy now suggest that Buck told Conte that he was fired for a series of irregular behaviors, and would therefore not receive a lump sum. One of such was the infamous text Conte sent to Diego Costa telling him he was no longer wanted. An action which reduced Costa’s market value as the club had no leverage with Costa insisting that he would only leave if there was an offer from Atletico Madrid.

Meanwhile. Conte is now believed to be angry at Chelsea’s decision and is deciding whether to take legal action against the club.