Chelsea sack Antonio Conte as £9million legal battle over terms of the Italian's compensation looms
- Chelsea finally said farewell to Antonio Conte in a short statement on Friday
- A £9million legal battle could follow over the terms of Conte's compensation
- Maurizio Sarri is set to be the man who will replace Conte at Stamford Bridge
By Kieran Gill for the Daily Mail
Published: 17:30 EDT, 13 July 2018 | Updated: 18:34 EDT, 13 July 2018
Chelsea finally said farewell to Antonio Conte with a curt statement on Friday, but a bitter and lengthy legal battle could follow over the terms of the Italian’s compensation.
In 61 words, the club confirmed the dismissal of the manager who delivered them the Premier League title in his debut season and the FA Cup less than two months ago.
They offered the 48-year-old no thanks for his work over the last two years as former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri arrived in London. Sarri, 59, is expected to replace his compatriot.
A bitter and lengthy legal battle could follow over the terms of Antonio Conte's compensation
It is expected that Maurizio Sarri will be the man to take over from Antonio Conte at Chelsea
Chelsea released their short, sharp statement on Friday morning that said: ‘Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company.
‘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.’
Conte had 12 months left on his £9million-a-year deal and the Italian wants compensation in full and at once, rather than month by month.
That is not Chelsea’s usual protocol and it is also believed lawyers are still haggling over how much to pay the former Juventus and Italy manager.
Last year Conte informed Diego Costa by text message that he was no longer wanted
Sources suggested on Friday the reason Chelsea’s statement was so blunt was because of the legal issues. The club chose their words carefully and avoided thanking the man they will claim brought this sacking upon himself by his behaviour.
Conte delivered trophies in his two years at Chelsea but also brought controversy.
The most infamous incident involved him telling striker Diego Costa he was no longer wanted via text message. That is expected to be a key piece of evidence from the club.
ANTONIO CONTE'S CHELSEA RECORD
Win ratio: 65.1 per cent
Trophies: Premier League 2016/2017, FA Cup 2018.
Conte also fell out with David Luiz and Willian, and used press conferences last season to accuse the board of not signing his targets.
There was concern at the club that if Conte stayed then star players could try to leave, including Real Madrid target Eden Hazard.
After Sportsmail revealed on Friday that the Spanish giants are plotting a £150million move for Hazard, Belgium boss Roberto Martinez believes Hazard would fit in perfectly.
When asked about the prospect of the attacker moving to Real, Martinez said: ‘He can play for any demanding team in the world.’
Conte is not happy at how his dismissal was handled, particularly after he came back to take pre-season training at Cobham this week.
Conte took training on Thursday morning before being told of his sacking that afternoon.
Eddie Newton and former goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini have taken temporary charge.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas thanked Conte on Twitter: ‘It wasn’t easy for me to convince you in the beginning but in the end I hope I did you proud. Good luck for the future.’
Chelsea declined to comment on Friday night.