Chelsea appoint Maurizio Sarri as manager to replace Antonio Conte on three-year deal

Italian replaces his compatriot fewer than 24 hours after Conte’s dismissal was announced

Jack de Menezes
Saturday 14 July 2018 10:09 BST
Chelsea sack Antonio Conte with Maurizio Sarri ready to take over

Chelsea have named Italian Maurizio Sarri as their new manager on a three-year deal, just one day after sacking Antonio Conte.

The former Napoli manager takes over at Stamford Bridge with the club out of the Champions League and facing a sizeable gap to reigning champions Manchester City, with the 59-year-old tasked with putting them back among the Premier League title challengers next season.

Under his tenure Napoli twice finished runners-up in Serie A to Juventus – achieving the highest points total ever recorded for a second-placed side – and one third-place finish, and he will begin work with the south-west London club at the start of next week to press on with Chelsea’s pre-season plans.

“I am very happy to be coming to Chelsea and the Premier League. It is an exciting new period in my career,” Sarri said.

“I look forward to starting work and meeting the players on Monday ahead of travelling to Australia, where I will be able to get to know the squad and begin our match action.

“I hope we can provide some entertaining football for our fans, and that we will be competing for trophies at the end of the season, which is what this club deserves.”

Sarri has been brought in not only to improve results, but also address the way that the team play, with director Marina Granovskaia putting extra emphasis in her statement on the style that Sarri was able to implement at Napoli.

“We are delighted to welcome Maurizio and are looking forward to him bringing his football philosophy to Chelsea,” Granovskaia said.

“Maurizio’s Napoli side played some of the most exciting football in Europe, impressing with their attacking approach and dynamism, and his coaching methods significantly improved the players at his disposal.

“He has plenty of experience in Serie A and the Champions League and we know he is relishing the chance to work in the Premier League.”

The appointment was announced in a statement on the club’s website that was 261 words longer than the brief confirmation regarding Conte’s departure. It’s understood that a complete breakdown between the combustible Conte and the Chelsea board was the key reason behind his dismissal, with Chelsea reflecting that through a statement that did not even thank him for his work with the club, which included winning the Premier League title and last season’s FA Cup.

Antonio Conte has been sacked by Chelsea after two years as manager
Antonio Conte has been sacked by Chelsea after two years as manager (Getty)

The statement read: “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.”

Sarri’s arrival is also set to trigger the signing of Brazilian-born Italy midfielder Jorginho. Manchester City initially looked favourites to sign the 26-year-old, but Sarri’s move to Stamford Bridge has persuaded the defensive midfielder to follow in his footsteps and sign for the Blues in a deal worth around £57m.

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