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Chelsea confirm they have 'parted company' with Antonio Conte in 62-word statement

The Italian guided the club to a league and FA Cup crown during his time in charge.

CHELSEA HAVE CONFIRMED the departure of manager Antonio Conte in a 62-word statement which further underlines how his short reign at Stamford Bridge had turned sour.

Chelsea v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Final Conte has been sacked two months after winning the FA Cup. Source: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA

It has been known for some time now that the Italian would be fired from the role but the delay in Chelsea’s official announcement is reported to be down to compensation issues that needed to be resolved.

In his two seasons in charge at Chelsea, Conte — who had a year to run on his contract — delivered two trophies, including a sixth Premier League title and, as recently as May, an eighth FA Cup crown with victory over Manchester United at Wembley.

The news brings to an end many months of speculation over Conte’s future at the club, after the 48-year-old was 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 further suggestions he would be dismissed.

Conte leaves with the best win percentage — 65.1% — of any of Chelsea’s managers in the Premier League era.

“Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company,” the short statement read.

“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.”

As Chelsea begin the search for their ninth full-time manager since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, widespread reports suggest Maurizio Sarri will be the man to take over.

Sarri has been favourite to succeed his compatriot after impressing as manager of Serie A side Napoli, who have replaced him with former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Sarri, who split his time between banking and playing football before he took up coaching aged 40, has not won a major honour in three years at Napoli but has guided the club to finishes of second, third and second again.

He was named Serie A Coach of the Year in 2016-17.

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Ryan Bailey

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