Confirmed: Chelsea sack Antonio Conte
Chelsea have finally dismissed manager Antonio Conte.
The Italian’s departure was acknowledged in a three-sentence report on the club’s website, although his exit had been anticipated for months.
Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title during his first season in charge, impressing a 3-4-3 system on his new side that few teams could live with as the Blues won a then-record 30 games out of 38.
Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea poses with the Premier League Trophy after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on May 21, 2017 in London, EnglandGetty Images
But his spell in London turned sour that summer when he told Diego Costa that he was not part of his plans for the next campaign – by text message.
It sparked an unravelling which left senior players alienated and Chelsea’s hierarchy furious.
Even the FA Cup final triumph against Manchester United in May, a rare highlight in a dour second season, saw Willian cover Conte up with trophy emojis in a celebration photo.
While the ending was inevitable, neither party wanted to make the first move due to compensation reasons, but with the new season fast-approaching – and Sarri available – the club have belatedly made the decision to axe the Italian.