Antonio Conte wishes Chelsea well under new manager Maurizio Sarri in first public statement since his sacking

The Italian was sacked on Friday, 55 days after lifting the FA Cup in his final match in charge with Sarri appointed 24 hours later

Matt McGeehan
Monday 16 July 2018 14:29
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Who is Chelsea's new manager Maurizio Sarri?

Antonio Conte has wished new manager Maurizio Sarri well in his first public statement following his sacking by Chelsea.

The Italian was sacked on Friday, 55 days after lifting the FA Cup in his final match in charge, with Maurizio Sarri appointed his successor 24 hours later.

"I would like to thank all of my friends at Chelsea Football Club for their hard work and support over the past two seasons which enabled us to win the Premier League and FA Cup together," Conte said in a statement released via the League Managers' Association.

Conte won the 2016-17 Premier League title with Chelsea in his first season as head coach and signed an improved contract, but not an extension to the deal which was due to expire in June 2019.

The former Juventus and Italy boss often hinted at grievances with the London club's hierarchy, particularly over transfer policy, and was discarded with a year remaining on his contract and despite overseeing the start of pre-season training for the 2018-19 campaign.

Sarri's first game at the helm is scheduled to be the July 23 friendly against Perth Glory in Western Australia.

Conte thanked his players, staff and the Blues fans, adding: "It was fantastic for me to be able to share my emotions, passion and enthusiasm throughout two unforgettable seasons with these amazing Chelsea supporters, who will always stay in my heart.

"I hope Chelsea will continue to be successful and I wish everyone well for next season. I have made many memories during my time with Chelsea, which I will take with me into my next challenge."

Chelsea's usual policy is to continue to pay a sacked manager's salary until the expiry of the contract or until he finds a new job.

Conte is said to be prepared to wait for a high-calibre position, with no obvious attractive vacancy at present.

Conte left Chelsea having won the Premier League and FA Cup

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan anticipates Conte will be sought after following his stint at Stamford Bridge.

"Antonio made an immediate impact when he arrived in the Premier League two years ago," Bevan said. "His energy and enthusiasm for football has been infectious and it has been a privilege to have one of the best coaches in the world working in the Premier League to raise the standard of the league and his players at Chelsea.

"His record as a manager speaks for itself, with a record-breaking Premier League season and FA Cup title to look back on with pride. Antonio is hugely respected by his peers within the English game, who voted him as LMA manager of the year in 2017.

"We have no doubt that Antonio will go on to achieve many more successes in his career."

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