Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has issued a statement following his departure from Stamford Bridge on Friday, where he was replaced less than 24 hours after his sacking by S.S.C. Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri.
The 48-year-old head coach spent two years in west London, lifting the Premier League trophy in his maiden season with the Blues. Conte also guided Chelsea to an FA Cup title which came 55 days prior to him leaving the club.
On Monday, Conte spoke out for the first time since he left Stamford Bridge to make way for his compatriot Sarri, issuing a statement to the League Managers Association where he expressed there were no ill feelings towards the club.
"I would like to thank all of my friends at Chelsea Football Club for their hard work and support over the past two seasons which enabled us to win the Premier League and FA Cup together," Conte said, quoted by the Daily Mail.
"To the players, whose talent and commitment was so important to our successes, I thank them for everything. It has been a pleasure working with them every day.
Antonio Conte - thank you for giving me my favourite ever Season as a Chelsea fan and yet another perfect Wembley day in May. Any dream of a long serving manager creating a dynasty at Chelsea will NEVER ever exist. Roll on whatever is next. As per usual. #KTBFFH #CFC— George Benson (@MrGeorgeBenson) July 12, 2018
"To my staff, who always worked so hard, I must say thank you and well done for their professionalism and dedication throughout.
"I have enjoyed my time in England and London so much and I want to thank the Chelsea fans who have been amazing to me and my Family. It was fantastic for me to be able to share my emotions, passion and enthusiasm throughout two unforgettable seasons with these amazing Chelsea supporters, who will always stay in my heart."
It had been rumoured for some time that Conte's time at Chelsea would come to an end this summer, but the former Italy boss actually took charge of the club's first pre-season training sessions.
Despite Conte's seemingly amicable departure, there are still question over how the head coach will receive compensation. It is suggested that the club want to continue paying the 48-year-old on a monthly basis, but he would prefer to receive £9m settlement as a lump sum.