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Just In: Sarri to leave Chelsea, as he agrees deal with Juventus

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Maurizio Sarri has reached an agreement with Juventus to become the Serie A champions’ next head coach and has requested Chelsea release him from his contract to join the Bianconeri, Goal understands.

Fali Ramadani, Sarri’s agent, met with Chelsea management Friday to discuss his client’s future with the club as a move to Turin draws closer and closer.

The 60-year-old Sarri intended to wait until the end of the season, and specifically the Europa League final, to consider the subject of what came next in his career.

But the Chelsea boss has received an offer from Juventus that would pay him €7 million (£6m/$8m) to succeed Massimiliano Allegri, who had coached the Bianconeri to five straight league titles, at the club.

Ramadani relayed news of that offer to Chelsea, as well as Sarri’s request to be allowed to join Juventus, though the Blues will take a few days before providing the manager with an answer.

Chelsea do not want to be unprepared for Sarri’s departure and are targeting a new manager before giving the green light for their current boss to leave.

Former Chelsea star and current Derby County manager Frank Lampard has been linked with the job in recent weeks, though the ex-Blues midfielder has downplayed those reports in the build up to his side’s 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa in the Championship promotion play-off final.

Sarri appears to have beaten out a host of candidates for the position, though that list includes a trio of managers in Mauricio Pochettino, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp who were unlikely to depart for Turin due to their strong relationships with their current clubs.

Having been the subject to speculation about his job for much of the second half of the season, and enduring a difficult relationship with the Chelsea supporters, Sarri did not share the same connection to the club as his Premier League colleagues.

Should Sarri depart for Juventus, he will leave Chelsea having improved on the league position achieved by Antonio Conte in 2017-18, going from fifth to third, and returned the club to the Champions League for next term.

He also guided the Blues to a pair of finals, falling to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup decider on penalties while defeating London rivals Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final on May 29.

Sarri will be joining a former rival in the process, having guided Napoli from 2015-18, guiding them to a pair of second-place finishes behind Juventus.

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Chelsea agree Courtois deal to Real Madrid

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Chelsea have agreed terms with Real Madrid for the transfer of Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The 26-year-old goalkeeper will sign a six-year deal at Madrid subject to passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

Croatia international Mateo Kovacic will be on a season-long loan at Stamford Bridge as part of the deal.

“Chelsea and Real Madrid have tonight agreed terms for the permanent transfer of Thibaut Courtois subject to the agreement of personal terms and passing a medical,” the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

“Subject to the completion of the deal Mateo Kovacic will join the Blues on a season-long loan.”

Madrid have been keen to bring in Courtois in a €35m deal (£31m/$40m).

Chelsea will kick off their Premier League campaign on Saturday with an away trip to Huddersfield Town.

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Official: Chelsea close on signing Sarri, Jorginho

Chelsea are close to completing a deal for Maurizio Sarri to replace Antonio Conte.

Sarri’s former boss Aurelio De Laurentiis said “Sarri is close to being new Chelsea manager. My lawyers are in talks with his lawyers to finalise everything.”

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The Serie A club president also noted that Jorginho, who has been in advanced talks with Manchester City for a number of weeks, would prefer a move to London and could follow Sarri to Chelsea.

The current Chelsea head coach, Antonio Conte, however, took training at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground on Monday and still has 12 months left on his £9m-a-year contract. He would seek payment for the final year of his contract if the club signs Sarri.

Chelsea are yet to make a single move in this summer’s transfer market but it is understood Sarri’s arrival could also prompt the arrival of CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandr Golovin and Juventus defender Daniele Rugani.

The summer window closes in less than a month, Chelsea head for West Australia and their first match of the pre-season on July 23.

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Antonio Conte Reveals He’s Already Apologized To The Referee After Getting Sent To The Stands

Antonio Conte has said that he must always “respect” the decision of the officials after being sent to the stands in his side’s 1-0 win over Swansea City.

Just before half time, Antonio Conte claimed that Swansea had started to waste time after shutting the Blues out during the opening 45 minutes, leading to the frustrated Italian being ordered away from the touchline.

However, Conte has acknowledged that he made a mistake, and has revealed that he had taken time to apologise to the referee and the fourth official.

Antonio Conte told Sky Sports: “I saw that the opponent was wasting time and that is the reason I spoke a few times with the fourth official.

“I didn’t see that the situation change and I was frustrated with the fourth official. For this reason, I have to apologise to him and the referee. In that moment, I was angry but I know that is it right to apologise to them.

“It is fair, I don’t know, but I know that the referee took this decision and for this reason, we have to accept and respect his decision. It is not simple sometimes during the game, there is a lot of frustration but at the same time, I think that you can make a mistake and I did this.”

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Chelsea To Honour Lampard With Tribute In Swansea Match

Frank Lampard will be honoured as a special guest at Chelsea’s home game on Saturday against Swansea, the club has confirmed.

The Chelsea legend played for New York City as his last club, before announcing his retirement from football.

Lampard spent 13 seasons at Chelsea and is the club’s highest goalscorer, he won three EPL titles, the champions league, the Europa league and four FA cups.

The 38-year-old will be given his own lap of honour at half-time of Chelsea’s home clash with Swansea and will also feature in a special matchday programme.

“Lampard, the club’s all-time highest goalscorer, will be at Stamford Bridge to cheer on the Blues, and during the break he will be brought out and walked around the pitch, giving supporters the opportunity to show their appreciation for what he achieved during a wonderful 13-year Chelsea career,” Chelsea said via their official website .

“To mark the fact Lampard will be a special guest at the game, Saturday’s matchday programme will come with a special wrap-around cover paying tribute to our former midfielder, featuring images of some of his most memorable moments.”

Swansea boss Paul Clement admitted that he tried to persuade Lampard to move to the Liberty Stadium before he took the decision to retire.

“I would have loved to have had him here,” Clement told a news conference on February 2. “So I would be lying if I said I did not try. But I think he was moving towards the decision he made.

“I fully respect that. We had a chat and he appreciated I had called because of our relationship. I am not saying it was close – it did not go very far – but it would have been nice.

“It would be great to see Frank continue in the game of football. I am sure he will think about it over the next weeks and months.

“He has got a lot to offer and I would like to say congratulations to him on such a wonderful career.”

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CONFIRMED!!! Conte Signs 3-year Contract For Chelsea

Antonio Conte has signed for chelsea on a three-year contract.

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The Italy coach spoke of his admiration for the Premier League and excitement before taking over at Stamford Bridge.

The Italy coach joins the Stamford Bridge club on a three-year contract and will take over following this summer’s European Championship in France.

 

Conte, who previously won three Serie A titles during a three-year spell at Juventus, used his first statement as Chelsea head coach to show his admiration for the Premier League and reveal his excitement ahead of taking over at the west London club.

Chelsea confirm Conte appointment

“I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club,” he said. “I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that.

“I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League.

“Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.

“I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.”

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia reveals that the club’s hierarchy are delighted to welcome Conte to the club, but also thanked interim manager Guus Hiddink for his work in the second half of the season.

“We are very pleased to have recruited one of the most highly regarded managers in world football and we are equally pleased to do so before the end of the current season. This aids our future planning.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Guus Hiddink, who has done a great job since he joined us in December.”

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck also praised Conte’s record and welcomed him to the club.

“Antonio Conte has a record of consistent success in his career as a manager and as a player,” he said.

“We look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge and are confident he will find all he needs to maintain that high standard of achievement.’”