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Antonio Conte and his backroom staff were at Chelsea’s training ground on Saturday morning as some of the squad returned to training, according to Sky reports.

According to other reports, Conte and his team did not take the training session, instead attending meetings at Cobham.

Chelsea’s official website made no reference to Conte, reporting on Saturday: “The 2018/19 season is up and running!

“Our non-World Cup players returned to Cobham this morning, as pre-season got underway on a scorching day in Surrey.

“With the World Cup still in full flow, the numbers are diminished, but for those players who didn’t feature in Russia there were plenty of smiles on show as they caught up after a few weeks’ break.”

Sky report that negotiations between Napoli and Chelsea over Maurizio Sarri’s appointment as Conte’s potential replacement are in deadlock.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is waiting for an improved offer from Chelsea and Sarri is not in London, as he waits for the go-ahead.

Napoli are due to start pre-season training on Tuesday, with Sarri remaining officially in charge – although former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has signed a three-year deal to take over.

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