Chelsea have parted ways with manager Antonio Conte after two seasons at Stamford Bridge and are expected to appoint Maurizio Sarri as his successor.
The Italian had two contrasting campaigns at the helm and has now vacated his post. Conte took 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.
That success was helped by prolific striker Diego Costa, who scored 20 goals and provided eight assists. However, Costa had a falling-out with Conte ahead of the 2017/18 season and he didn’t play for the Blues again as he went AWOL in order to force a move to his former club Atletico Madrid.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 12, 2018
The Spain international’s departure appears to have been the beginning of the end for Conte, whose relationship with the Chelsea board deteriorated throughout last term, especially after the sale of star midfielder Nemanja Matic to title rivals Manchester United, a move which Conte apparently did not sign off on.
The off-field controversies bled onto the pitch and the west Londoners flattered to deceive. They eventually stuttered to a fifth-placed finish in the league, which has led to Conte’s departure even though he did clinch the FA Cup title.
The Blues are now expected to appoint Sarri, who recently left Napoli, which led to a contract wrangle with the Italian club, although the saga is nearing a conclusion.