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21-05-2018 | 11:59 Football

Antonio Conte set to leave Chelsea despite having won FA Cup

Chelsea’s Italian coach Antonio Conte is set to leave after two seasons in charge. The club negotiate his pay-off, with 12 months left on his  £9 million-a-year contract, and seek a replacement. Conte failed to deliver the biggest trophies and stylish football after he refused to make top-level signings. Former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique is on their wish list, while Maurizio Sarri, regularly mentioned as a potential successor, is haggling over a new contract at Napoli. He said: “It’s not simple and sometimes you can have not always the same ambition. But when I decided to sign a new contract (last summer), I decided to stay at this club and work very hard for this club. “I think that the club has the right experience to understand what it has to do in the future to be competitive and to fight for a place in the Champions League — and not just to compete but to win. Conte has been constantly frustrated by Chelsea’s business in the transfer market. Alvaro Morata has been a £67m flop, £40m Tiemoue Bakayoko underwhelming and neither £30m Danny Drinkwater nor £15m Ross Barkley has been able to hold down a place in the team. Conte insisted the FA Cup does not change anything as he fully expects to go imminently, as soon as they resolve his departure. He added: “No, I don’t think this changes anything about my future. I don’t think a win or a loss can change the future. I think it’s right for the club to take the best decision, but I don’t think the win today can change an assessment, an evaluation about my work.

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