The long-running saga over Antonio Conte’s future seems to have been resolved with Chelsea sacking him as manager and appointing Maurizio Sarri.
Conte leaves with the best win percentage of 65.1% of any of Chelsea’s managers in the Premier League era.
Former banker Sarri will be Chelsea’s ninth full-time manager since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.
Sarri has been favourite to succeed his compatriot after impressing as manager of Serie A side Napoli, who have replaced him with former Chelsea handler Carlo Ancelotti.
The 59-years-old, who split his time between banking and playing football before he took up coaching at age 40, has not won a major honour in three years at Napoli but has guided the club to finishes of second, third and second again.
The main reason for Conte’s prolonged saga has been compensation.
Conte is due a reported £9million ($11.9million) if he remains out of work for the season and with the major jobs such as Real Madrid and the Italy national post — which he occupied for two years till after Euro 2016 — filled it is likely he will sit the year out.
Napoli are also expectant of a compensation in the region of £4.5million for Sarri, who is under contract even though he is no longer their coach.
Sarri says he is bringing in former Chelsea favourite Gianfranco Zola — whose managerial career has stalled after a series of failures — along as one of his backroom staff.
Sarri has also presented a list of players he would like to sign and they allegedly include midfielder Jorginho from Napoli, Aleksandr Golovin as well as Italian defender Daniele Rugani from Juventus.
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