Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri contract complicated, Antonio Conte could remain with club

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte returned to pre-season training on Saturday, despite speculation over his future at Stamford Bridge.

Conte led Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in England in 2016-17 and followed up that achievement with the FA Cup triumph this year, but his relationship with the board became damaged beyond fix, highlighted by his repeated public and private complaints about transfer policy.

"[Sarri to Chelsea] is about to happen, it just depends on him", De Laurentiis said after a news conference to introduce Carlo Ancelotti as Sarri's replacement.

Sarri has been lined up to replace him for weeks and now de Laurentiis has revealed the deal is close.

Conte took the Blues training on Thursday morning, but his exit is now imminent and Chelsea's players had the afternoon off. Chelsea are likely to pay around £50m, with further fees due in bonuses, to secure the Italy midfielder Jorginho and Sarri.

Chelsea still need to reach an agreement to terminate the final year of Conte's contract, which is worth??9 million, but that increasingly appears to be a formality.

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Meanwhile, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC that Chelsea are set to hand highly rated midfielder Mason Mount a new deal before sending him on loan to Derby.

Chelsea have alternative options in place if negotiations with Sarri break down.

Despite winning the Premier League in his debut season and the FA Cup in the last campaign, Conte has never been popular with owner Roman Abramovich and he's repeatedly clashed with the management over transfer dealings.

The Blues have reportedly lined up Sarri to replace current boss Antonio Conte following their poor Premier League title defence and failure to qualify for next season's Champions League.

The summer transfer window is open and managers are working hard on their transfer targets so we'll bring you all the latest gossip from around the globe.

City have still to hear from either Jorginho or Santos that he is definitely joining Chelsea and suspect that he is being used as a pawn in the Londoners' talks with Napoli over Maurizio Sarri.

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