Antonio Conte has been sacked by Chelsea

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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.

Chelsea have sacked manager Antonio Conte after winning the Premier League and FA Cup during his two seasons in London.

However, the Blues mounted a miserable defence of their title last season, finishing fifth.

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The 48-year-old is understood to have angered the Chelsea hierarchy with critical comments about the club's recruitment policy.

Having been left in the dark over his future for the entire summer, Conte resumed pre-season training with the squad on Monday and even led a session yesterday morning before the news was delivered and players were informed there would no longer be an afternoon workout.

The latter report also suggests that Conte is prepared to take legal against Chelsea if they renege on any part of the compensation agreement, which would probably mean going before Federation Internationale de Football Association to plead his case.

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Sarri spent a total of three seasons at Napoli, guiding the club to the Champions League in each of his campaigns and establishing them as Scudetto contenders for the first time since the days of Diego Maradona.

Former Napoli boss Sarri is expected to be appointed as his successor.

"The Sarri affair is almost at its conclusion, it all depends on him".

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

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