Maurizio Sarri: Chelsea name ex-Napoli boss as Antonio Conte's successor

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Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said on Friday NZT the Premier League side were close to securing a deal for former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to replace Conte.

Conte began his career at Lecce, playing as a midfielder.

However, his second season in charge ended with a limp title defence as his side finished fifth in the Premier League, crucially missing out on Champions League qualification.

Not getting into the Champions League was a big minus to Chelsea.

Chelsea made an official announcement in which the club statement which read, "Joao Rodriguez will spend the coming season on loan in Spain".

Sarri, who comes off the back of a wonderful season with Napoli, had been sacked during the summer but remains under contract with the Serie A runners-up.

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He will sign his contract with Chelsea when he arrives in England and then be confirmed as the club's new boss.

Chelsea have been discussing a compensation deal for Conte and his staff members, while also holding talks with Napoli over a fee for Sarri. Their willingness to beat Manchester City's offer for Italy worldwide midfielder Jorginho provided the belated breakthrough in talks.

Sarri, who has risen from the amateur ranks of Italian football, will be working outside of his native country for the first time.

He helped Empoli to promotion to Serie A in 2014 and, after keeping them in the top flight, took over Napoli in summer 2015.

The sacking brings to an end a fractious two-year relationship between Chelsea and Conte. He had been waiting since winning the FA Cup in May to resolve his future at Stamford Bridge.

It was on the cards long before last season's FA Cup triumph, which came less than 12 months after he won the Premier League.