Maurizio Sarri has cleared a path to Chelsea by completing his exit from the Napoli dugout.
Former Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti has been appointed to replace him at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples leaving Sarri to move on to a fresh challenge.
Maurizio Sarri is nearing his move to Chelsea after Carlo Ancelotti replaced him as Napoli boss
The hierarchy at Stamford Bridge have tired of Conte’s public outbursts about the transfer policy, fierce mood swings at the training ground and a deteriorating relationship with his players.
But owner Roman Abramovich, who is unable to enter the UK due to delays in the process of his visa renewal, has been reluctant to pay-off the coach and his eight Italian staff in full because it would cost more than £9million.
Sarri’s sudden availability, however, could force the issue.
Ex-Chelsea manager Ancelotti was confirmed as Napoli’s new boss on Wednesday evening
The 59-year-old, who led Napoli to a runners-up place in the Serie A this year playing attractive and exciting football, wants the Chelsea job if it becomes available.
He has also been linked with a move to Zenit St Petersburg, in Russia.
‘I’d like to thank Maurizio Sarri for his valuable contribution to the Napoli cause,’ said Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis, on Wednesday, on Twitter.
‘He brought joy and prestige to Naples and Napoli fans all over the world with an entertaining brand of football that drew praise from all quarters. Well done, Maurizio.’
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is looking to make a change in the managerial dugout
Napoli said Sarri had not been sacked and remained under contract despite the appointment of Ancelotti, enabling De Laurentiis to demand compensation if another club were to make a swift move for his services.
Meanwhile, also in Italy, Chelsea’s £65m record signing Alvaro Morata was caught on camera in conversation outside a five-star hotel with Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici.
Morata endured a torrid first season in English football after his move from Real Madrid and would like to move back to Serie A.
Antonio Conte looks set to leave Chelsea imminently despite winning the FA Cup on Saturday
AC Milan have also been linked with the Spain international striker but the chance to return to Juventus where he enjoyed two successful years would appeal to the 25-year-old.
Morata and his agent were spotted with Paratici outside the Hotel Palazzo Parigi in the heart of Milan near the fashionable Via Montenapoleone.
Chelsea will be prepared to sell him at the right price to fund a summer recruitment drive with Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Anthony Martial of Manchester United among their top targets.