Maurizio Sarri is in final negotiations with former club Napoli as he edges closer to taking charge at Chelsea, says the Serie A club’s president.
Antonio Conte took charge of Chelsea’s pre-season training at the weekend, despite speculation over his future.
Sarri has held talks with Chelsea, but remains contracted to Napoli, who have replaced him with Carlo Ancelotti.
“We are in the finishing line,” said Aurelio de Laurentiis. “Now it depends on [Sarri] and Chelsea.”
“The Sarri affair is nearly at its conclusion, it all depends on him. My lawyers have submitted papers to his lawyers.”
Italian Sarri, 59, joined Napoli in 2015 and led them to second behind champions Juventus last season.
Conte, 48, has a clause in his contract that guarantees him a pay-off, thought to be £9m, for the final year of his deal.
This would be reduced if the former Italy and Juventus coach got another job, but most of the vacancies he would be interested in have now been filled.
Conte won the Premier League in his first season at the club in 2017, and the FA Cup in May this year.