Chelsea sack Antonio Conte as manager

Chelsea next manager

GETTYChelsea next manager Maurizio Sarri is closing in on the Chelsea job

Earlier in the day, Fabregas had "liked" a tweet from a fan appearing to celebrate the Italian's departure, before removing the like and posting a reply that he had hit the button "by mitake".

Chelsea hoped that another club might attempt to buy Conte out of the final year of his Stamford Bridge contract as he was unwilling to resign, but Paris Saint-Germain's appointment of Thomas Tuchel and Real Madrid's choice of Julen Lopetegui eliminated the possibility.

He would have frozen out David Luiz, Willian and others, while Chelsea feared that Eden Hazard would not sign a new contract if Conte stayed on and were anxious by his relationship with key players.

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It is understood that Maurizio Sarri, who was at Napoli last season, is set to be confirmed as Chelsea's new head coach.

But progress has been made over the past 48 hours and Sarri has agreed a two-year contract with the option of a third if an agreement can be signed off with Napoli.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte watches Champions League football slip away at the end of last season. He was eventually replaced by Carlo Ancelotti on May 23 after speculation that Sarri's buyout clause would be activated by another club. Of Conte's staff, fitness coach Paolo Bertelli may stay on while goalkeeping coach Gianluca Spinelli could remain if Thibaut Courtois stays at Chelsea.

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Others perhaps had even more obvious reasons to fall out with the manager even if it was never clear whether they actually did, in particular David Luiz, whom he exiled from the team at the beginning of last season. With just 12 days before Chelsea's first pre-season game and less than a month before the transfer window closes - Sarri will need to get to work quickly and efficiently. And now as things stand, they are of the thought that Napoli are using the midfielder to ease Sarri's move to Chelsea.

Sarri's expected arrival is also expected to see him bring Napoli midfielder Jorginho to the club, with the Blues shaking off interest from Manchester City and Pep Guardiola.

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