Conte returns for Chelsea preseason training as club continues to chase Sarri

Conte has clashed with Chelsea staff over when their players should return for training

Ross Barkley, Pedro, Cesc Fabregas, Tiemoue Bakayoko Marcos Alonso and David Luiz were among the big names to have returned.

Chelsea finished the season disappointingly after coming fifth in the Premier League, missing out on a Champions League spot in the process.

It's claimed that confidence is growing we will complete a deal to take Sarri from Napoli and appoint him as our new manager this week - potentially on Wednesday.

Chelsea's Italian boss Antonio Conte was missing from the rest of the Blues' squad on Sunday as the Premier League resumed pre-season training at their Cobham training complex.

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But a contractual dispute with Napoli has prevented Chelsea from snapping Sarri up, leaving Conte at the helm after he regularly challenged the hierarchy's authority with comments about their transfer policy in the most recent campaign.

Sportsmail understands Chelsea's position - which is that they want Sarri to replace Conte - is unchanged regardless of Conte's work at their Cobham training base over the weekend and Monday morning.

Chelsea are also yet to break their summer transfer market duck, although work on targets such as Russia's Aleksandr Golovin, Daniele Rugani and Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson is ongoing.

Fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri has been the main man in the frame to succeed his fellow countryman, although Sky Sports Italy have reported that negotiations between Napoli and Chelsea regarding Sarri's appointment as Conte's potential replacement are in 'deadlock'.

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