Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is expected to be sacked this summer, with former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri expected to be named as Chelsea manager before the start of the new season.
However, up until now, Chelsea are yet to make the appointment of Sarri official, and this has in a way affected Chelsea’s pre-season and transfer plans.
Technically, with Conte not yet relieved of his Chelsea duties, the Italian is still the manager of the club, and now The Times report that, even though Conte is set to leave Stamford Bridge, he has spent the summer planning a gruelling pre-season training programme and has clashed with the club over when the players should return.
A member of the Chelsea technical staff had emailed all players who have not been at the World Cup telling them to report to the Cobham training ground on Saturday and Sunday this week.
However, Conte wants the squad to return later than that, and without consulting the club – emailed the squad to remind them that he is still the manager and instructing them not to report for duty until Monday.
The report claims Conte’s message to the players was ‘terse’, echoing the tone he used when he told Diego Costa he no longer featured in his plans.
Conte is still adamant that he will not walk away from his role at Chelsea despite a complete breakdown in his relationship with the club’s board.