Chelsea want to become Premier League title contenders again but have yet to sign or sell a single player this summer amid the confusion over who would be in charge.
Here, Sportsmail answers the key questions about Conte, Sarri, signings and more.
Antonio Conte (centre right, pictured on Wednesday) was sacked as Chelsea boss on Thursday
Why did it take so long?
Conte was under contract at Chelsea until the summer of 2019 and paid £9million per year, having only signed his new deal on July 18, 2017.
Owner Roman Abramovich was reluctant to hand him a cheque, and hoped another job might become available which would mean an agreement could be made.
It didn’t and after a lengthy delay, the club have bit the bullet and sacked their boss.
Meanwhile, the man they wanted to replace Conte was stuck at Napoli.
Maurizio Sarri became Chelsea’s top target but his club claimed they should be due compensation, despite them having already appointed his successor in Carlo Ancelotti. The Blues disagreed.
Conte was under contract at Chelsea until the summer of 2019 on a £9million-a-year deal
Maurizio Sarri is expected to be appointed as Chelsea’s new boss following Conte’s dismissal
Why have Chelsea sacked a manager who only won the FA Cup two months ago?
As well as some success, Conte brought with him a degree of conflict.
The Italian used his press conferences to accuse the board of failing to provide him with the players he wanted. Alex Sandro and Leonardo Bonucci were two targets never signed.
Conte also fell out with big names in the dressing room, including David Luiz and Willian, who recently blocked him out of a picture he posted of the team on Instagram.
There were some concerns that Eden Hazard would try to leave if Conte stayed too. Whether Sarri’s arrival will help convince the Belgian to sign a new contract remains to be seen.
Conte’s final game in charge of Chelsea ended in silverware with the FA Cup in May
Yet, the writing was on the wall last term as he criticised the board during press conferences
What’s the payout?
Conte will no doubt believe he should be due the full £9m he would have received had he stayed, and understandably so.
The Italian, an excellent tactician, won the title in his first season in England using a 3-4-3 system that many others tried to mimic. He also won the FA Cup two months ago.
Talks between both parties will go on behind the scenes over compensation. Sportsmail has not been told a final figure has been agreed yet.
The majority of Conte’s backroom staff will also leave.
Conte’s first season at Chelsea was a roaring success as they won the Premier League title
Why did he take training?
Conte went further than that. He even prepared a pre-season programme, just in case he kept his job. The team are due to fly to Australia in a week and he would have had a seat on the plane.
The Italian is professional, so the plan was always to get back to work if he was not sacked.
That is why Conte took training at Cobham this week, apparently starting the non-World Cup squad off with a double session.
The players were, of course, surprised to see he was still in charge, given they are not immune to the rumours around the club.
Despite his uncertain future, Conte had taken pre-season training with Chelsea this week
What happens to the club now?
Sarri will come in, likely on an initial two-year contract. He will become Chelsea’s ninth full-time manager since Abramovich bought the club in 2003.
As widely reported, Gianfranco Zola is in line to take up a role in the backroom staff.
The squad are due to fly away for their pre-season tour next week. First, they face Perth Glory in Australia, followed by Inter Milan in France, then Arsenal in Dublin.
Chelsea will also get to work on signings, with Jorginho from Napoli tipped to become the first to be brought in. The midfielder is expected to cost around the £55m mark.
Sarri will become Chelsea’s ninth full-time boss since Roman Abramovich’s takeover in 2003
Blues club legend Gianfranco Zola is in line to take up a role in the backroom staff
What does Conte do next?
Conte is likely to take time off to spend with his family, most likely back in Italy.
Should a big job present itself then he may be tempted, though the 48-year-old will be in no rush. He recently missed out on the Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain jobs.
Conte is expected to take some time away from football now and spend time with his family