Maurizio Sarri agrees to become Chelsea boss, with Gianfranco Zola as assistant

Maurizio Sarri agrees to become Chelsea boss, with Gianfranco Zola as assistant

The Italian manager's relations with the west London club's hierarchy have appeared strained, to put it mildly, since past year while his departure from Stamford Bridge has been flagged for months.

Conte leaves amid reports in the British and Italian media that former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri will take over at Chelsea for next season.

Sarri's arrival will end the managerial turmoil at the club and there is expected to be a late push to bring in new faces.

Chelsea have been strongly linked with Sarri over the past two months but previous head coach Antonio Conte was only removed from his position on Friday.

The Italian had two contrasting campaigns at the helm as he over a team that finished 10th in the Premier League as defending champions and turned them around immediately to reclaim the title in 2016/17.

Former Juventus boss Conte is rumoured to have fallen out with Chelsea's hierarchy over transfer policy, while their disappointing fifth-place finish in the Premier League - just a year after winning the title - fuelled suggestions he would be dismissed.

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It's always been known that Conte would be dismissed with Sarri the favoured replacement, yet it was somehow allowed to get to the stage where the former Italy coach took the first three days of pre-season training before being dismissed. "I wish you every success in the future".

Trophies: Premier League 2016/2017, FA Cup 2018.

Alvaro Morata flopped at Chelsea last season following his move to the club from Real Madrid.

The chain smoking former Empoli manager - who will have to restrain himself on the touchline in England where smoking is banned - was named Serie A Coach of the Year in 2016-17.

Sarri is a big fan of the striker, who played under him at Napoli, and Chelsea want to add more firepower to their squad.

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