After months of speculation, Antonio Conte is no longer Chelsea manager. However, the saga is not over yet with the case expected to go to the law courts.
Multiple reports in the English press have confirmed a breakdown in communication between Conte and the board ultimately saw the Italian depart the club. Chelsea football club are allegedly accusing Conte of breaching his contract after confirming the end of his employment on Friday morning.
A key piece of evidence will be the text message Conte is reported to have sent Diego Costa while he was a Chelsea player. Costa enjoyed a successful spell for much of his career in London but never shied away from his discomfort at living in England and eventually was told he was deemed surplus to requirements by a text, as Costa himself revealed to a group of bewildered journalists:
I'm a Chelsea player, but they do not want me there. Antonio Conte has told me by message that I do not follow at Chelsea and that's it. Conte said he did not count on me for next season.
Costa left and joined Atlético Madrid. This text will now form the basis of Chelsea's evidence against their former manager.
As he was still in the final year of a three-season contract, Conte is due a £9m payoff which the club will contest. According to Sky Sports, Chelsea tried to find a negotiated settlement during the summer but were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri is rumoured to be on the verge of being appointed as the new boss at Stamford Bridge.