Antonio Conte has been sacked by Chelsea, SunSport understands. The Italian was told he was axed at a meeting today after two years in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck drove to their Cobham training ground this morning to deliver the news to Conte, who won the Premier League title and the FA Cup during his two-year reign.
The first-team players were given the afternoon off from their pre-season training regime.
Buck was seen leaving the training ground at 2.10pm in his classic Porsche after delivering the news, which has been expected since the end of last season.
Conte was driven to training this morning by his assistant manager Carlo Cudicini, the former Chelsea and Spurs goalkeeper.
Napoli manager Maurizio Sarrri, left, is expected to replace Conte at Stamford Bridge
The 48-year-old had reported back for duty at the start of the week and began taking first-team pre-season training as usual.
At the same time, the Blues board had been busy trying to agree a deal which would see Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri take charge of the club.
Those talks have now reached a conclusion, with Napoli giving the green light for Sarri, 59, to move to the Premier League.
It is believed he will have Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola as part of his backroom staff.
One that deal was in place, the club moved quickly to finally bring to an end the ongoing uncertainty surrounding just who was in charge.
And SunSport understands the club have agreed to pay up the £9million due for the remaining year of Conte’s contract.
It brings to an end a relationship which started promisingly but ended with the manager at odds with his bosses over their transfer policy.
The former Juventus boss delivered the Premier League in his first season in charge, but the wheels began to fall off almost immediately after.
It emerged he had told star striker Diego Costa he was being axed in a curt text message – causing the player to go AWOL and forcing the Blues to take a hit on his transfer fee.
And with Conte continually undermining his squad by claiming he wanted better players, their title defence went down the pan completely as they eventually finished fifth.
Chelsea declined to comment.