Chelsea sack Antonio Conte

Chelsea have announced that head coach Antonio Conte has been sacked.

The Italian leaves after two seasons in charge, a spell in which he won the Premier League and FA Cup with the west London club.

Chelsea have released the following statement: "During Antonio's time at the club, we won our sixth league title and eighth FA Cup.

"In the title winning season, the club set a then-record 30 wins in a 38-game Premier League season, as well as a club-record 13 consecutive league victories.

"We wish Antonio every success in his future career."

Sky in Italy reported on Thursday that Conte was no longer the head coach of Chelsea and Friday's confirmation by the club could pave the way for the arrival of Maurizio Sarri.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis revealed on Wednesday that the deal is almost done, saying: "Sarri is close to being new Chelsea manager. My lawyers are in talks with his lawyers to finalise everything."

Current and former players have taken to social media to pay their tributes to Conte.

Cesc Fabregas lead the league in assists during Chelsea's title-winning 2016/17 season.

John Terry also sent a message to Conte, whom he played under in his final season at Stamford Bridge.

Conte still had a year left on a revised deal he signed last summer after delivering the fifth Premier League title since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003.

The Italian could not build on that first season and his frustration became evident when Chelsea failed to land the signings he wanted to embark on a Premier League title defence.