16th of July 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Chelsea have replaced one Italian manager with another, Antonio Conte leaves the club after just two seasons and former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri comes in to replace him. Conte had one year remaining on his contract and had even won the Premier League title during his first season in charge and the FA Cup in his second, but the club decided to let him go on Friday. The club issued a statement wishing Conte success in his career, while the Italian manager replied: "I hope Chelsea will continue to be successful and I wish everyone well for next season. I have made many memories during my time with Chelsea, which I will take with me into my next challenge."
Maurizio Sarri, who is 11 years older than Conte, led Napoli to two second-place finishes in his three seasons in charge but was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti at the end of last season. He has signed a three-year contract with Chelsea and said that he wants to bring "entertaining football" at Stamford Bridge. "It is an exciting new period in my career," he said. "I hope we can provide some entertaining football for our fans and that we will be competing for trophies at the end of the season, which is what this club deserves." He is the 13th manager appointed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich since he bought the club in 2003, with Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink having had two spells in charge of the Blues.
Sarri is a very interesting character, not exactly the typical successful football manager. In fact, he never made it as a football player and ended up working as a foreign currency trader at a bank. Football continued to be a passion for him and he coached part-time before finally leaving his bank career in order to do what he called "the only job I would do for free". He led Empoli to the top-flight and caught the attention of Napoli, where he managed to transform the side into a goal-scoring machine. Napoli scored 251 league goals during Sarri's three years in charge, more than any other team in the Italian Serie A.
Chelsea are now 14/1 at Bet365 to win the Premier League title next season.
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