Chelsea have reportedly become embroiled in a fresh row over pre-season training with manager Antonio Conte, who remains in charge at the club despite the expectation that former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri is on the verge of being hired as his replacement.

Reports of Sarri's impending arrival have been growing for the last few weeks, with potential transfer business for the new boss even beginning to kick off as the club eyes deals for Juventus pair Gonzalo Higuain and Daniele Rugani.


But, as things stand, Chelsea have still not removed Conte. The situation has been tense as he still has another 12 months to run on his contract and it has been widely reported for months that he would be entitled to a severance payment of £9m if he is sacked and doesn't get another job.

According to The Times, the fresh cause of disagreement between the Italian and the club centres on an email sent to the playing squad by a member of Chelsea's technical staff.

The correspondence is said to have asked all those players who have not been at the World Cup to report for fitness tests on Saturday and Sunday ahead of pre-season.

Conte, however, is believed to have responded saying that he doesn't want players to report for duty until Monday and The Times report draws the obvious comparison between that 'terse' email reply and the infamous text message he sent to Diego Costa last summer which read, "Hi Diego, thank you, but you at not in my plans."

The situation will soon have to come to a head and be resolved. Chelsea cannot afford to waste any more time with the new Premier League season barely five weeks away. And with Sarri expected to be appointed imminently, they must bite the bullet and pull the trigger on Conte.