Chelsea sack manager Antonio Conte after two years in charge

COBHAM ENGLAND- JULY 11 Antonio Conte of Chelsea during a training session at Chelsea Training Ground

British media pointed at the 48-year-old's likely severance package, a reported 9 million pounds ($11.81 million) if he sits out the year remaining on his contract, had been one of the sticking points.

He is set to be replaced by former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, according to reports.

Maurizio Sarri is expected to be announced as Chelsea manager in the coming days after Antonio Conte was finally relieved of his duties by Chelsea this week after months of enduring a loveless marriage in which neither party was willing to file the divorce papers.

Out the door: Antonio Conte holds the trophy after Chelsea won the FA Cup final against Manchester United in May.

The club's 64-word announcement was eventually made on Friday (Saturday NZT), ending with: "We wish Antonio every success in his future career".

Sarri is set to utilise his Napoli links to bring Jorginho with him to Stamford Bridge, and there have also been suggestions that he could sign Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus.

Sarri spent three years at the club and led them to two runner-up finishes and a third place, playing an entertaining and high-energy brand of football like that seen at Man City under Pep Guardiola, Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino, and Liverpool under Juergen Klopp. Conte's relationship with Chelsea's hierarchy was strained after disagreements over their transfer policy last season.

"Jorginho joining Chelsea does not depend on Sarri [joining Chelsea]", Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, said this week.

Conte has been sacked after two years at Chelsea.

The former Italy coach took preseason training this week with the players not featuring at the World Cup.

He also clashed with senior players such as Diego Costa and David Luiz while others had begun to grow tired of his methods.

But he was warned not to follow the title success with "a Mourinho season" in reference to their slump of 2015-16 when they finished 10th, a year after winning the league under the Portuguese.

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