July 13, 2018 / 9:34 AM / 4 days ago

Soccer: Chelsea part ways with manager Antonio Conte

(Reuters) - Chelsea have parted company with their Italian manager Antonio Conte after two years at Stamford Bridge, the Premier League club said on Friday.

Conte joined the Roman Abramovich-owned club in 2016 and led them to the league title in his debut season along with an FA Cup triumph last campaign.

The former Italy manager had a year remaining on his current contract and had already taken charge of pre-season preparations at the club’s Cobham training ground outside London.

"Chelsea Football Club and Antonio Conte have parted company," Chelsea said on their website. reut.rs/2KS0Xef

“We wish Antonio every success in his future career.”

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea - Antonio Conte Press Conference - Cobham Training Centre, Cobham, Britain - May 11, 2018 Chelsea manager Antonio Conte during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien/Files

The 48-year-old’s departure comes after Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said on Wednesday that Chelsea were close to securing a deal for the Italian club’s former boss Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri, 59, led Napoli to two second-place and one third-place finish in three seasons in charge. He was replaced by former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti in May with the Naples club seeking to end Juventus’ dominance in the league.

Conte’s relationship with Chelsea’s hierarchy was strained after disagreements over their transfer policy last season.

His future has looked uncertain with Chelsea failing to qualify for the coming season’s Champions League after finishing fifth. The team will now play in the Europa League.

Chelsea take on Huddersfield Town in their opening fixture of the new Premier league campaign on Aug. 11.

Soccer Football - FA Cup Final - Chelsea vs Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - May 19, 2018 Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho react REUTERS/David Klein

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Christian Radnedge

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