Chelsea 'close' to deal for Maurizio Sarri to replace Antonio Conte as manager

Napoli club president De Laurentiis claims negotiations for their former manager to go Stamford Bridge are 'close' to being completed

epa06299959 Napoli's head coach Maurizio Sarri (R) and his player Dries Mertens (L) attend a training session in Castel Volturno, Caserta, Italy, 31 October 2017. SSC Napoli play Manchester City on 01 November 2017 in an UEFA Champions League Group F soccer match.  EPA/CIRO FUSCO

Chelsea are close to securing a deal for former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to replace Antonio Conte as manager, according to the Italian club's president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Conte won the Premier League with Chelsea in his first season after joining in 2016.

However, his future at Stamford Bridge remains uncertain as, despite winning the FA Cup, they finished fifth in the last campaign and failed to qualify for the Champions League.

"Sarri is close to being new Chelsea manager," De Laurentiis told reporters during the unveiling of new Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti.

"My lawyers are in talks with his (Sarri) lawyers to finalise everything."


Read more:

2018 World Cup semi-final updates: buildup to Croatia v England

Roberto Martinez says Belgium must 'regroup' for one final game to try and clinch World Cup bronze

Analysis: Imperious France have all the tools to deliver a second World Cup trophy

Report: France reach World Cup final as Samuel Umtiti's goal sinks Belgium


Sarri was replaced by Ancelotti in May with the Naples club seeking to end Juventus' dominance in the league.

The 59-year-old Sarri led Napoli to two second-place and one third-place finish in three seasons in charge at the club.

Chelsea declined to comment on the issue when contacted by Reuters.

Conte has one year remaining on his current contract and has already taken charge of the club's pre-season preparations at their Cobham training ground.