Antoine Conte has been sacked by Premier League club Chelsea after reaching a compensation agreement for what was his final year of the contract, paving way for Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to replace him for the position of head coach. The club confirmed that Conte and Chelsea have parted company on Friday.
In a short statement, Chelsea said, “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. We wish Antonio every success in his future career.”
With a year of his contract remaining, Conte had already taken charge of pre-season preparations at Chelsea’s training ground Cobham. Under the former Italy manager, Chelsea had won the Premier League title in 2016, his first season at the club, as well as the FA Cup last season.
Conte’s future at Chelsea had been under question since the side failed to qualify for the coming season of UEFA Champions League, after finishing fifth in the 2017-18 table. Before Chelsea, Conte had led Juventus to three consecutive Serie A titles from 2012-14, before coaching the Italy national team at Euro 2016.
With Paris Saint-Germain appointing Thomas Tuchel and Real Madrid going for former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, Chelsea lost hope of the possibility of another club buying Conte out of the final year at Stamford Bridge as he was unwilling to resign himself.
Sarri, who led Napoli to two second-place and one third-place finish in three seasons in charge, had been replaced by former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti in May but Napoli refused to let Sarri out of his contract. Progress, however, has been made and Chelsea are expected to announce Sarri’s appointment on an initial two-year contract basis.