Conte back to Chelsea despite Sarri’s imminent arrival

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has returned to pre-season training on Saturday, despite speculation over his future at Stamford Bridge.

Blues players not involved in World Cup duty have two days of tests at the club’s Cobham training ground before full training restarts.

It is understood Conte held meetings and, unless the situation changes, will fulfil the final year of his contract.

The Italian’s future has been the subject of intense rumour for months.

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri has held talks about replacing Conte but he remains contracted to the Italian club, who have already appointed Carlo Ancelotti to be their new coach.

Conte, 48, also has a clause in his contract that guarantees him a pay-off, thought to be £9m, for the final year of his deal.

This would be reduced if the former Italy and Juventus coach got another job, but most of the vacancies he would be interested in have now been filled.

Conte won the Premier League in his first season at the club in 2017, followed by the FA Cup in May of this year.

Chelsea’s first pre-season game is in Australia, against Perth Glory on 23 July.

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Fido

•Sport writer/blogger • Media strategist •Good citizen of Nigeria and Social Media Evangelist and a core die hard Real Madrid fan.

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