Chelsea sack coach Antonio Conte as Maurizio Sarri appointment looms

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Sarri remains an employee of Napoli despite the club appointing Carlo Ancelotti as their next boss, with Napoli hoping to agree a compensation fee with Chelsea before releasing him.

"Although I consider [Jorginho] a great player, for Ancelotti's style of play and in view of the [lack of] credibility from the Chinese for [Marek] Hamsik, we've made a decision to accept the request which first came from Manchester City, and I have to apologise to them".

He added: "Jorginho? Although we consider him to be a great player, for the sake of Ancelotti's style of football and knowing that the interest from Chinese clubs in (Napoli midfielder Marek) Hamsik was relative, we chose to assess the bids, which originally came from City".

Blues legend John Terry also sent a message to Conte, who he played under in his final season at Stamford Bridge.

"City won't dominate the way they dominated this past year, I'm nearly certain about that".

But De Laurentiis has suggested that talks are now close to bearing fruit regarding an agreement for Sarri to be appointed by Chelsea.

Sarri is believed to have agreed to bring former Chelsea favorite Gianfranco Zola - whose managerial career has stalled after a series of failures - along as one of his backroom staff.

That combined with his beef with Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho making Chelsea a target seemed to simply be too much to reconcile with.

"Jorginho and Sarri together again?"

This one is probably more of a dream than a reality for Chelsea fans, but Sarri may be able to force a move through.

There is still time for City to make a last gasp attempt to resurrect their deal but as it stands Chelsea are in pole position and I think Jorginho will be a superb signing if they can get it over the line.

The former Italy manager had a year remaining on his current contract and had already taken charge of pre-season preparations at the club's Cobham training ground. His relationship with the several players and the club's director Marina Granovskaia are thought to be two of the main factors behind his removal, rather than the fifth-place finish in the league last season.

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