The confusion over Chelsea's management position continues, as Antonio Conte is expected to take Chelsea's pre-season training this week, despite all reports suggesting that he will depart the Blues before the start of the season.
According to the London Evening Standard's Simon Johnson, pre-season training has been taken by a sports scientist, however from this week Conte will take over training. The effervescent Italian is believed to be unwilling to leave Chelsea until he is formally dismissed, receiving the £9.5m pay-off he so desperately desires.
#cfc pre-season will get properly under way on Monday. Today was just the standard fitness & cardio tests players go through on first day.Conte plans to take session in two days’ time but club still working on Sarri. One source describes situation as ‘political mess’.— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) July 7, 2018
Some players are reportedly becoming frustrated with the whole situation, increasingly unhappy about being left in the dark over the side's managerial future.
Chelsea's target to replace Conte is another Italian, Maurizio Sarri. Sarri, 59, has managed nine different clubs, all Italian, in his 13-year managerial career. Sarri has found himself on Chelsea's radar following a successful season with Napoli. Sarri's Napoli side came within just four points of champions Juventus, challenging the Turin side in an exciting title race not seen in Italy for nearly half a decade.
The Chelsea hierarchy believe that Sarri will become their new manager, however talks remain slow, but it is unlikely that Conte will stay at Stamford Bridge even if Sarri does not become Blues manager. It is understood that should Conte stay at Chelsea, then some of the senior members of the squad will look to depart.