Chelsea sack coach Antonio Conte as Maurizio Sarri appointment looms

Maurizio Sarri

Maurizio Sarri

Former Napoli boss Sarri is widely expected to replace Antonio Conte as Chelsea manager.

The Italian had two contrasting campaigns at the helm and has now vacated his post.

Conte had returned to work last Saturday to begin Chelsea's pre-season preparations, but will no longer carry the team forward as the club continues to negotiate with Napoli over a compensation fee for Sarri.

That success was helped by prolific striker Diego Costa, who scored 20 goals and provided eight assists.

Despite news of Conte's departure breaking and players paying their own tributes on social media, Chelsea did not confirm his exit as lawyers haggled over the terms of his pay-off. They eventually stuttered to a fifth-placed finish in the league, which has led to Conte's departure even though he did clinch the FA Cup title.

Sarri was replaced by former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti in May with the Naples club seeking to end Juventus' dominance in the league.

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In his first season in charge, Chelsea set a wins record with 30, finishing atop the Premier League table, comfortably ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in second place. They are also interested in goalkeeper Alisson Becker if Thibaut Courtois decides he wants to leave. Sarri will look to transform Chelsea to a possession-based side and Jorginho will be pivotal to that change.

Here are the three big names from Italy that could join Sarri in the capital.

Could any returning loanees feature?

This is a make or break summer for the England global; he can either leave and fulfil his potential elsewhere or give it one more shot at Chelsea.

Having impressed in his cameo appearances for England at the World Cup, Loftus-Cheek will be well aware that his stock is high and negotiating position strong.

Sarri could be followed by midfielder Jorginho from Napoli, with Chelsea willing to pay £50m, plus £7m in bonuses, for the pair.

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