Multiple reports claim that Antonio Conte has taken charge of his last training session as Chelsea manager.
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The Italian coach, who was expected to leave Stamford Bridge over the summer, has taken charge of the opening days of preseason at Chelsea’s Cobham training base despite entering into the final year of his contract with neither himself or the club eager to extend his stay.
And reports state that Chelsea and Napoli have agreed a $75 million fee for Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri and star midfielder Jorginho.
According to Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis Jorginho, a long-time transfer target for Manchester City, has decided to move to Chelsea as he “would rather live in London” over Manchester.
“We said to ourselves, ‘if Jorginho has any requests, we’ll take them into account’. For that, I’ll have to apologise to Manchester City. However, if the player would rather live in London than Manchester, I can understand that. If Chelsea are paying him even more, I can understand that too. Jorginho and Sarri together again? Jorginho would go to Chelsea regardless of Sarri.”
De Laurentiis was talking at the unveiling of Napoli’s new boss Carlo Ancelotti, who he appointed before Sarri had officially left. He confirmed that Sarri should be Chelsea’s new boss by the end of the day.
“Sarri is close to being new Chelsea manager. My lawyers are in talks with his lawyers to finalise everything.”
Conte’s deal at Chelsea is said to be worth over $12 million per season and he is not expected to walk away without compensation after winning the Premier League title and FA Cup in his first two seasons in English soccer with the west London club.
It appears a deal must have been struck for both Sarri and Conte to move on, as Chelsea step up their preseason plans with a trip to Australia on July 23 at the forefront of their plans. They have yet to sign a new player, while there is plenty of uncertainty as owner Roman Abramovich struggles with visa issues.
Sarri led Napoli to second place in the Serie A table last season and received widespread praise for the fluid, attacking nature of his team.