Chelsea part ways with Conte

Meanwhile, had earlier reported that Chelsea are planning to sack their manager Antonio Conte before the club starts preparations for the 2018-19 league season.

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

Jorginho was super close to joining the Premier League champions but will now move to London and will link up with his Napoli boss, Maurizio Sarri. The former Empoli manager was named Serie A Coach of the Year in 2016-17.

Juventus' recent dominance of the Italian top flight was nearly ended by Sarri's swashbuckling Napoli side last season.

Only two managers have recorded a better points average than him in the Premier League.

The Blues' non-World Cup players are expected to return to the Cobham training ground this weekend for fitness tests and body fat appraisals.

The Blues finished outside of the top four last season, but did end the 2017/18 season by defeating Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

It is now official, Chelsea have made a decision to "part ways" with Antonio Conte, who was a highly popular figure among the Chelsea fans, but simply could not get along with members of the board. It would make Jorginho the second most expensive layer in the club's history, behind Alvaro Morata.

Although Chelsea strengthened with the arrival of players such as £60m striker Alvaro Morata, they missed out on other targets, including their former striker Romelu Lukaku, who moved to Old Trafford instead.

Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard have both been reluctant to commit to fresh deals with Conte still in charge until his departure was announced on Thursday.

Chelsea seeks a 13th permanent manager under Abramovich's ownership, and at possibly the most turbulent period of the Russian billionaire's trophy-filled reign.

  • Rosalie Stanley