Chelsea fires manager Antonio Conte

By Alex Butler  |  July 12, 2018 at 3:20 PM
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July 12 (UPI) -- Antonio Conte is no longer the manager of west London Premier League club Chelsea.

Sources told Sky Sports and the Guardian that Conte was no longer with the squad. Chelsea has yet to confirm the move. John Terry, a longtime Blues defender, posted a farewell message to Conte Thursday on social media.

"Thank you boss," Terry wrote on Instagram. "Great man, great manager. I wish you every success in the future."

Maurizio Sarri is expected to be confirmed as the Blues' next manager. Conte, 48, took over at Stamford Bridge in 2016, following stints at Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta, Siena, Juventus and the Italian national team. He helped Chelsea win the Premier League and an FA Cup in his two seasons with the club.

On Wednesday, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis told reporters that Sarri was "close" to becoming the new Chelsea manager. Napoli has hired manager Carlo Ancelotti.

"I think we're almost there. It depends on [Sarri] and Chelsea now," De Laurentiis told reporters. "I've set out my conditions. Time will tell."

Conte had one year remaining on his contract. Sarri, 59, coached at Pescara, Arezzo, Avellino, Hellas Verona, Perugia, Alessandria, Sorrento and Empoli before taking the reigns at Napoli in 2015.

Chelsea finished fifth in the Premier League this season, behind Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. Napoli finished in second place in Serie A, four points behind Italian champions Juventus.

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