Chelsea confirm departure of Antonio Conte

Chelsea expect to appoint former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri as Conte's replacement

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.

Antonio Conte has finally been let go by Chelsea, with Maurizio Sarri waiting in the wings as the next Blues boss.

Conte won the Premier League in his first season and the FA Cup in May, but the team finished fifth in the league last season, missing out on Champions League qualification.

'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.

The club have refused to comment on the status of the 48-year-old, who won the Premier League title in his first season and the FA Cup in May.

The latter report also suggests that Conte is prepared to take legal against Chelsea if they renege on any part of the compensation agreement, which would probably mean going before Federation Internationale de Football Association to plead his case.

Sarri is believed to have agreed to bring former Chelsea favourite Gianfranco Zola - whose managerial career has stalled after a series of failures - along as one of his backroom staff.

Conte's position has been under scrutiny since the middle of last season when relations with the board became strained amid a feeble title defence.

Conte was appointed as Chelsea manager in the summer of 2016, leaving his role as Italy head coach to take the job at Stamford Bridge.

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