The Blues are braced for legal action from the Italian, who wants a full payoff for both him and his staff
So Antonio Conte has finally been sacked by Chelsea, months after we all knew he would be, but the Italian could have chosen to go sooner. Instead he decided to stick around to get his full pay out.
Chelsea have confirmed that they have sacked manager Antonio Conte, though they face the prospect of a prolonged legal battle with the former Juventus boss.
The Italian took charge of their first four days of pre-season but speculation had long suggested he would be fired by the Stamford Bridge outfit.
This was finally confirmed on Friday via a statement released by the Blues, who wished Conte success in the future.
“Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company,” the 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.”
Goal confirmed on Thursday that the Italian was no longer in charge of the club, with a deal for former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri nearing .
The Blues, however, are braced for a legal battle with the ex-Italy head coach, who wants a £9 million ($12m) payoff.
Conte wants full payment of compensation for himself and all his staff. Chelsea don’t feel like they have to pay him off and are ready to go through legal channels, which is a route that both parties are happy to take.
Indeed, the coach may avoid work until June 2019 to strengthen his case for the full £9m sum.
His exit could mean that Chelsea’s transfer window finally grinds into gear, with Sarri understood to have already instructed the Blues board to chase a number of players, including Jorginho, who is expected to follow him from Napoli for €58 million.
Meanwhile, Brazil and Roma goalkeeper Alisson is in talks with the club and could arrive should Thibaut Courtois leave for Real Madrid.
Russia World Cup star Aleksandr Golovin is another close to arriving from CSKA Moscow, along with Juventus defender Daniele Rugani.
The Blues, however, face a fight to keep Eden Hazard and Willian, who have been linked with big-money moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Conte spent two seasons in charge of the Premier League club, leading them to the title in his first year.
His second campaign, however, proved more problematic, with the Italian unhappy that the club failed to secure several of his top transfer targets. The results that followed were below par, and the Blues finished fifth in the Premier League and were eliminated from the Champions League by Barcelona at the last-16 stage, having suffered a 4-1 aggregate defeat.