Maurizio Sarri is finally expected to take over as Chelsea boss after the Stamford Bridge club made a breakthrough in negotiations with Napoli and agreed a fee for midfielder Jorginho that will help cover the loss of their outgoing coach.
Both the Naples club - who have already appointed Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager - and Chelsea - for whom Antonio Conte took training on Monday and Tuesday - have found themselves in somewhat peculiar situations for the past month as they elegantly skirted legal proceedings to try and thrash out an agreement for Sarri to leave the Italians and move to London.
The eventual result appears to be that Sarri will be released from his contract to become the new head coach at Chelsea, where Conte will in turn finalise a mutual accord for his departure. The significant breakthrough over compensation for Sarri came as talks intensified over midfielder Jorginho, a player that the 59-year-old former Empoli coach had specifically requested be signed by the Chelsea top brass.
Manchester City have had an offer on the table for quite some time that Jorginho has been considering but the opportunity to continue to play under Sarri, albeit in the new surroundings of the Premier League, was understood to be a key factor and the Italian international is now expected to make a £53m move to Chelsea with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis confirming as much to TuttoMercatoWeb in Italy.
“It was decided to accept the requests that started from City and I will have to apologise to them but the player.
"If he prefers London to Manchester, and I can understand that, then if Chelsea pays him more I can understand more and I can’t do anything about it."
De Laurentiis claimed that Sarri's deal had nothing to do with Jorginho's move, but the fee for the Brazil-born midfielder is understood to include money that would otherwise have exchanged hands as a compensation payment for the coach, with Napoli having insisted that they are owed the €7m (£6.2m) release clause in his contract despite the fact they had already moved on and hired Ancelotti.
Chelsea could announce the hire of Sarri as soon as this week, with a renewed push to resolve the Blues' bizarre summer as they prepare for their first pre-season friendlies and a new style of play.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies