MX23RW : Tuesday, October 23 10:14:26

Chelsea 'facing Antonio Conte dilemma'

Chelsea 'facing Antonio Conte dilemma'
© Reuters
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly facing a dilemma over whether to sack Antonio Conte and pay up to £9m in compensation, or keep the Italian at the club.

Chelsea's hopes of coming to a mutual split with manager Antonio Conte have reportedly taken a major blow following Julen Lopetegui's decision to take over at Real Madrid.

Lopetegui was announced as Zinedine Zidane's successor at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, leading to him being sensationally sacked by Spain on the eve of the World Cup after he failed to inform the Spanish FA about his impending appointment.

The Spaniard's move to Madrid means that there are no longer any big vacancies left available, all but ruling out the prospect of Conte leaving Chelsea for another club in a mutual agreement.

The Telegraph reports that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich must now decide whether to sack Conte - which would cost him up to £9m in compensation - or allow the Italian to see out the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

Conte has made it clear that he will not step down from his role at Stamford Bridge, despite a number of clashes with the board during a 2017-18 campaign which saw Chelsea finish fifth in the Premier League but win the FA Cup.

Abramovich is still expected to sack Conte, with Maurizio Sarri still understood to be his preferred replacement, but he must now come to terms with the fact that any change of manager will be an expensive and complicated one.

Sarri remains under contract at Napoli despite the Italian club appointing Carlo Ancelotti last month, and it could cost around £3.5m to prise him away from the Serie A runners-up.

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Maurizio Sarri in charge of Napoli on May 6, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City97202632323
2Liverpool97201631323
3Chelsea96302071321
4Arsenal970222111121
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs9702167921
6Bournemouth95221612417
7Watford95131312116
8Everton94321512315
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves943298115
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231516-114
11Leicester CityLeicester94051515012
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton93241013-311
13Burnley92251017-78
14West Ham UnitedWest Ham9216814-67
15Crystal Palace9216511-67
16Southampton9135614-86
17Cardiff CityCardiff9126819-115
18Fulham91261125-145
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9036418-143
20Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9027614-82

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