CHELSEA reckon bringing in Maurizio Sarri as boss will keep their top stars at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Willian have kept a close eye on Blues’ managerial saga while playing in the World Cup.
However, Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis said yesterday: “The Sarri deal is in the home stretch, it depends on him.
“I’ve laid down my conditions, it is all in the hands of lawyers.”
De Laurentiis claims part of Chelsea’s £57million fee for Napoli midfielder Jorginhoincludes a hefty slice of cash for taking manager Sarri — even though he was replaced by fellow Italian Carlo Ancelotti back in May.
Sarri is still employed by Napoli, so they want money to agree to let him go.
Chelsea’s top brass are convinced the change in manager will bring peace to a dressing room where senior players are unhappy with Conte’s abrasive personality.
Midfielder Hazard has two years left on his £200,000-a-week and keeper Courtois just 12 months to run.
Both Belgians have been sending out signals for months that they could be persuaded to leave Stamford Bridge.
Normally placid Brazil winger Willian took the unusual step of plastering over Conte’s image in an Instagram shot of the Chelsea squad celebrating their FA Cup final win in May.
His fellow countryman David Luiz also fell out with Conte last season.
Sarri, 59, is poised to sign a three-year contract worth around £17.7m and is viewed as more diplomatic in the way he handles the players. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and key aide Marina Granovskaia believe it will unify the club.
Conte has been in limbo for weeks but insisted he would not quit — so was forced to take pre-season training on Monday under the terms of his contract, which still has a year to run.
Chelsea normally carry on paying sacked managers until their contract expires or they get another job, so Conte could pocket in excess of £10m.
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