Chelsea sack manager Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte has been sacked as Chelsea manager.

The 48-year-old Italian had a year remaining on his contract, but has left the Blues 55 days after lifting the FA Cup in his final match in charge – and having taken pre-season training earlier this week.

Conte, who is reportedly set to be replaced by former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, also led Chelsea to the 2016-17 Premier League title in his first season as boss.

Chelsea said in a statement on Friday: “Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company.

“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.

Maurizio Sarri is expected to be named the new Chelsea manager.

“We wish Antonio every success in his future career.”

Former Juventus and Italy boss Conte signed a three-year contract before becoming Chelsea head coach in July 2016.

His deal was improved, but not extended, in July 2017 after the Premier League win, hinting at differences with the Blues hierarchy.

Speculation had shrouded his position last season, as Conte did little to hide his dissent over Chelsea’s transfer business in the summer of 2017 and winter of 2017-18, making thinly-veiled criticisms of “the club”.

And the differences proved to be irreconcilable as Conte’s departure after just two seasons was confirmed 10 days before the club’s first pre-season friendly of the 2018-19 campaign.

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