Ruthless Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to sack Antonio Conte, and has already lined up his replacement, according to reports today.
The Chelsea boss has repeatedly sounded out his displeasure at the club, especially at their backing of him in the transfer window over the summer. The club failed to land a number of players in key area’s that, according to Conte, have left a number of players tired and not performing at their best due to the increased demands that the Champions League has brought.
He has also admitted that he is homesick and wants to return back to Italy, with reports in his homeland suggesting he could be offered a return to the role of Italian national team head coach, the job he did before arriving at Chelsea.
As we reported earlier this week, Conte has publicly stated that he intends to stay at Chelsea for the remainder of his deal, which runs for another 18 months, as opposed to walk away and take another job. However reading between the lines, i believe that this could be a message to Roman Abramovich to say, ‘if you want rid of me, you will have to sack me – and pay me my compensation.’
However, if that is what Conte meant, he could be about to get his wish sooner than expected. The Sunday Express claim that the Italian could be sacked as early as next week, especially if his side lose to Watford in the Monday Night Football.
Meanwhile, reports in Italy say that Conte’s replacement could be Maurizio Sarri, who has lead Napoli to the top of Serie A, marginally ahead of six time consecutive champions, Juventus. Sarri has an €8m release clause in his contract with league leaders, and Abramovich is more than willing to pay that to bring the 59-year-old to the Premier League.
Former barcelona manager Luis Enrique has also been linked with the job.