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David Luiz says he’s happier following Conte departure

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David Luiz has been given a second life at Chelsea, and the veteran is taking full advantage of his opportunity with the club.

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The Brazilian looked to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge a season ago after receiving little playing time under former manager Antonio Conte, but has since found himself a starting role with Maurizio Sarri in his back four system.

Luiz, who played a total of 10 Premier League matches in 2017/18, has already started 270 minutes in the new season alongside Antonio Rudiger in the heart of the Chelsea back line.

The 31-year-old recognizes though that he likely wouldn’t have been afforded his current opportunity had Conte stayed on as manager.

“If the manager [Conte] had stayed the same, of course, everybody knows maybe I had to move clubs,” Luiz said in a Sky Sports interview. “Now I am here and so happy.”

Luiz is currently in his third season with the Blues, after having previously left the club for a big-money move to Paris Saint-Germain back in 2014.

In all, Luiz has spent seven seasons at Stamford Bridge, making him one of the longest-tenured Chelsea players in the current squad.

Despite the lack of playing time under Conte though, the skilled defender has adjusted his game enough to be able to earn himself consistent minutes on the pitch ahead of the likes of Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen.

“I think I always have to feel fresh start because I am getting old! It is amazing to play football, of course last season was not the best for me inside the pitch, but also I learned a lot outside the pitch as a person, as a man,” Luiz said. “It is always great to be on the pitch.

“I learned a lot, sometimes you have to be patient, sometimes you have to take care of your body, sometimes you have to learn from outside to be good in the future. So for me it was great.

“I got time to take care of my body; many times I was on the pitch in pain, and I never refused to play one game. It was good to rest and be fresh.”

Reports: Conte to sue Chelsea over how firing was handled

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According to reports in Italy, and backed up by those in England, Antonio Conte is planning to sue Chelsea over the way the club handled his exit this summer.

Chelsea is reportedly planning to pay Conte the rest of his salary in full, but the reports state that the Italian is unhappy how long it took the club to confirm his exit, leaving him unable to secure a job commensurate with his experience level for this coming season.

The 48-year-old is set to receive nearly $12 million as compensation for the final year of his now-terminated contract, but is looking for additional damages given the timing of his departure. Despite the writing clearly on the wall, Conte had weeks of silence from the club, before being pulled back to London to begin pre-season training with the squad for just four days before he was then let go.

Upon his release, Conte released a relatively benign statement thanking the club, the fans, the staff, and the players, but notably did not thank the board or owner Roman Abramovich.

Things between Chelsea and Conte have been testy for some time now. It was reported earlier last month – before Conte was officially let go – that Chelsea was planning to withhold payment of Conte’s remaining salary and sue the Italian for costing the club money for former striker Diego Costa. Costa told the media he received a text message from Conte while on international duty last summer that he was no longer wanted at the club. If true, the club could have argued that Conte botched the situation and cost the club a significant amount of money. However, it seems the club has – for now – decided not to pursue the lawsuit, with reports stating that Conte is set to receive his salary in full.

Chelsea fire Antonio Conte

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The worst kept secret in soccer is out.

Antonio Conte has been fired as Chelsea’s manager.

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The Italian coach had taken the first few days of preseason training ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, but as he entered the final year of his Chelsea contract it has been clear for months he didn’t want to be around.

And Chelsea released the following statement on Friday, as former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri is expected to replace Conte in the coming hours.

“Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company. 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.”

Conte won the Premier League title in his first season in charge at Chelsea and he added the FA Cup in his second season, finishing fifth in the Premier League in 2017/18 as they failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. He leaves Chelsea with the best winning percentage (65.1) of any of their managers who’ve managed at least 100 Premier Leaghe games.

The former Italy and Juventus boss revolutionized Chelsea tactically after their disappointing midtable finish in 2015/16 as their title defense went horribly wrong and cost Jose Mourinho his job. The 3-4-3 formation he used was lauded and replicated across the league and his passion on the sidelines was incredible, especially in his debut season in England in 2016/17, as Chelsea won 30 of their 38 PL games.

Last season it was clear from the start he wanted to leave as he signed a new deal in the summer but only on improved terms instead of increased length, plus he clashed with the Chelsea hierarchy over transfer spending and also fell out with Diego Costa, David Luiz and other big name players.

With two trophies in two seasons in charge it is hard to describe Conte’s time at Chelsea as a failure, but the past six months have seen his situation deteriorate rapidly and it was clear he wasn’t going to walk away from the final year of his contract until he was fired.

That’s now happened and it believed Conte will pick up around $12 million in compensation from the club.

The 2 Robbies Podcast: Dasvidaniya Three Lions

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In today’s pod, Earle and Mustoe discuss an opportunity lost in England’s defeat to Croatia. The guys lament England’s drop off after the early goal before applauding another impressive gut-check victory from Modric, Perisic, Rakitic & Co.

Then, the guys breakdown France’s controlled victory over Belgium and preview Sunday’s Final.

Lastly, Rob and Rob are reminded that the Premier League kicks off in less than one month with some breaking news on Chelsea and Antonio Conte!

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Reports: Conte out at Chelsea

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Multiple reports say Chelsea has parted ways with head coach Antonio Conte, ending a tumultuous year at Stamford Bridge.

Conte led Chelsea back to a Premier League title in 2016-17, but this season was rife with acrimony.

[ MORE: Kenedy seals loan ]

The Londoners are expected to appoint ex-Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri as Conte’s replacement.

Chelsea won the FA Cup this season, but finished five points back of the Top Four in league play. The Blues fell to Barcelona in the Champions League’s Round of 16.

Conte was vocal about his desire for player signings before last season, and it seemed unhappy marriage from very early in the campaign.

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