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Chelsea have sacked Antonio Conte and are set to appoint Maurizio Sarri as his replacement.

Conte has finally been dismissed after months of uncertainty at Stamford Bridge, although it is not clear yet whether the club have agreed to pay the final year of his salary in full.

Significantly when contacted by Standard Sport this afternoon as to whether Conte had been dismissed, a club spokesman declined to comment. Official conformation is expected soon though.

Conte is understood to have said goodbye to staff at Chelsea's Cobham training ground earlier today.

The Italian chose not to resign despite the club actively pursuing other coaches to take his post and Chelsea made Sarri their first choice in the spring.

Conte agreed a pay-rise of £9.5m-a-year last summer and is understood to have demanded that sum in full. 

Photo: Reuters

Chelsea’s policy since firing Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2009 is to only pay a weekly salary until managers find a job elsewhere, but Conte has missed out on roles at Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, plus has rejected a return to Italy.

Relations between Conte and the hierarchy have been strained for most of Conte’s two-year tenure at Stamford Bridge as he has moaned about not getting all the signings he wanted.

It is believed his relationship with a number of key players had soured, with Eden Hazard, Willian and David Luiz all likely to demand a move should he remain in charge.

Conte won the League title and FA Cup during his time at the helm, but led Chelsea to a disappointing fifth place in the League in May.

Chelsea have already been working on Sarri’s transfer targets under the expectation a deal with Napoli, where he has two years left on his contract, will be completed.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

An agreement is close, although Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis wants to make sure Sarri doesn’t take any more players with him to Chelsea as midfielder Jorginho (above) is set to undergo a medical.

Chelsea agreed a fee worth up to £57.4m with Napoli for Jorginho, although the large sum is believed to have helped cover compensation for Sarri.

Who is Jorginho?

But De Laurentiis won’t let the move be finalised until he has assurances that none of the other star talent, including defender Kalidou Koulibaly, will move to Stamford Bridge while Sarri is there.

It should not hold up Sarris arrival much longer but Napoli lawyer Mattia Grassani said: “There is a lot happening at the moment.

“There was a meeting in Rome at the offices of De Laurentiis, without Sarri. We exchanged views with the English club and the coach’s lawyers: this matter is 10 times more complicated compared to when he arrived.

“The issue is there are so many clauses that De Laurentiis is looking after personally. He wants to leave nothing to chance for the rest of the years that Sarri will be on the Chelsea bench, assuming that should happen.

“These are dynamics that we have been facing and should be concluded by the end of the week, but it is still a work in progress. 

“Let’s just say that there is a pact of non-belligerence on the transfer market, we can call it that.”

A sign of Chelsea’s confidence that Sarri will be in place has been the pursuit of the 59-year-old’s transfer targets, including Jorginho.

Maurizio Sarri's Napoli career in profile

Chelsea have offered the Italy midfielder a five-year contract worth up to £102,000-a-week and as Standard Sport revealed on Wednesday , Jorginho has said goodbye to his team-mates.     

Sources in Italy suggest he is flying to the capital today and he appeared to confirm the transfer is just a matter of time. “I will miss Napoli very much,” the 26-year-old said. “I remain forever bonded to this city.” 

Manchester City had been the favourites to buy Jorginho but were only prepared to offer £48.6m in instalments.