Maurizio Sarri

Maurizio Sarri has agreed a deal to become Chelsea head coach, with Gianfranco Zola as his assistant, Sky reports.

Napoli’s president revealed Sarri was close to finalising a deal to take over at Chelsea on Wednesday, two days before Antonio Conte’s sacking was confirmed by the Premier League club.

Sarri’s regular brushes with Italy’s football authorities had looked likely to cost him the chance of becoming Chelsea’s next manager earlier this summer.

A series of misdemeanours – the most recent a 20,000 euros fine and two-game ban in January for alleged homophobic abuse of Roberto Mancini – looked to have steered the west London club away from appointing the 60-year-old.

Sarri was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti as Napoli manager last month but remained at the club as a compensation settlement between the 51-year-old and the Serie A club was agreed.

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