Maurizio Sarri set to put pen-to-paper on contract

Chelsea could land Higuain if Sarri appointed

They finished fifth, five points adrift of the final Champions League qualification spot, with Conte having appeared a far different entity this season from the enigmatic tactician who led the London club to the league previous year.

That track record saw him lined up as a possible replacement for compatriot Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge, after the former Juve boss suffered a hard second term with the Premier League side.

A fee of €8m would have been required by Chelsea to relieve Sarri of his previous contract with Napoli that was due to expire in 2020.

Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis is thought to be confident of retaining Sarri's services following positive talks over his future.

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Conte has struggled this season to maintain the standards set by his Blues in his first year as manager where they surged to a first Premier League title in two seasons.

Constant jibes have been thrown by Conte on the Blues board and their switch insurance policies, which has in the end effected his place on the Bridge with Chelsea failing to qualify for the Champions League for the second time in as many seasons.

The lack of results at Chelsea have sparked a tide of change as manager Antonio Conte will not be returning next season.

That would make Sarri, 59, the highest paid manager in Serie A after Juventus boss Max Allegri.

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