Sarri, and thank you

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LONDON — Chelsea parted company with their Italian manager Antonio Conte after two years yesterday.

Conte joined the Roman Abramovich-owned club in 2016 and led them to the league title in his debut season along with an FA Cup triumph last campaign.

The former Italy manager had a year remaining on his contract and had taken charge of pre-season preparations at the club’s Cobham training ground.

“Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company,” Chelsea said on their website.

“We wish Antonio every success in his future career.”

The 48-year-old’s departure comes after Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said on Wednesday Chelsea were close to securing a deal for the Italian club’s former boss Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri, 59, led Napoli to two second place and one third place finish in three seasons in charge.

He was replaced by former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti in May, with the club seeking to end Juventus’ dominance in Serie A.

Conte’s relationship with Chelsea’s hierarchy was strained after disagreements over their transfer policy last season.

His future has looked uncertain with Chelsea failing to qualify for the coming season’s Champions League after finishing fifth. They will play in the Europa League instead.

Chelsea take on Huddersfield in their opening fixture of the new campaign on Aug 11. — Reuters