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Antonio Conte begins Chelsea preseason with double session

09 July 2018

The long-running saga surrounding Conte has rumbled into Chelsea's pre-season, causing new signings to be delayed as the coach and staff push for their optimum compensation from owner Roman Abramovich, which is for a year's salary and an optional year.

Chelsea stars resume pre-season training but there was no sign of Antonio Conte.

And the London outfit is looking forward to sorting out the appointment of Sarri as soon as possible to enhance Chelsea's preparation ahead of the new campaign.

The large group of Blues players not involved in the World Cup, including Cesc Fabregas, David Luiz and Alvaro Morata, returned to the club's training base for fitness tests after an extended summer break while Conte made his first appearance since shortly after winning the FA Cup final in May.

Chelsea are also expected to play likes of Inter Milan, Arsenal, Man City and Lyon in the International Champions Cup after playing in Australia.

The 59-year-old Italian was tipped to take over from his compatriot at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea failed to qualify for UEFA Champions League football after finishing fifth.

Conte is renowned for his highly vigorous approach to approach to preseason and several Chelsea players have publicly admitted to struggling with his gruelling summer programmes, though weeks of double sessions at Cobham provided the foundation for the club's surprise run to the Premier League title in the 2016-17 campaign.

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri has held talks about replacing Conte but he remains contracted to the Italian club, who have already appointed Carlo Ancelotti to be their new coach.

Antonio Conte begins Chelsea preseason with double session