Chelsea finally sack Antonio Conte with Maurizio Sarri set to succeed him

Manager Maurizio Sarri and midfielder Jorginho are moving to Chelsea

However, while present players may have had issues with Conte, former Chelsea legend John Terry, who left after the league title-winning campaign had nothing but praise for him. The Italian was informed on Thursday of his departure.

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.

Conte led Chelsea to the Premier League in his debut season and, although he could only finish fifth last season, still managed to claim the FA Cup.

Chelsea have always been rooting to replace their current manager Antonio Conte with Maurizio Sarri, but Napoli have since been holding on to their €8m (£7m) compensation fee for Italian.

Sarri, 59, guided Napoli to second place in Serie A in back-to-back seasons. Chelsea's lack of Champions League football next season could tempt Hazard to look elsewhere, although he is reportedly third on Real's wishlist, behind PSG duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

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Conte took over a team that finished 10th in the Premier League as defending champions and turned them around immediately to reclaim the title in 2016/17. Napoli refused to end Sarri's contract despite hiring Carlo Ancelotti as manager.

Its been months in the making but it appears that Chelsea are finally on the cusp of announcing Maurizio Sarri as their new manager.

Widespread reports emerged in England and Italy that the Blues had dismissed Conte after two seasons in charge. Thibaut Courtois is expected to depart having entered the final year of his contract, forcing Chelsea to consider a move for Roma's Brazil goalkeeper Alisson.

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.

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