Chelsea set to appoint Maurizio Sarri as Blues get to work on THREE transfer deals

They have already identified transfer targets and are in talks with Juventus over central defender Daniele Rugani having made a bid of £30m.

The Blues also hope to sign CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandr Golovin and Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

Sarri succeeds Antonio Conte, who was sacked on Thursday – but the club now face a tough legal battle with the former Italy boss.

When Conte was axed on Thursday by chairman Bruce Buck, according to sources in Italy, he was told he would receive no lump sum due to “a series of irregular behaviours”.

His controversial dumping of Diego Costa via text last summer is thought to be the key issue, with the club claiming that action reduced the value of the player.

Conte is consulting his lawyers over the issue. Employment lawyer Alexandra Mizzi of Howard Kennedy LLP said: “An interesting detail is that Conte signed his new contract last summer with an increased salary after the row over Costa blew up.

“That fact undermines Chelsea’s case. They will have to show that he is in breach of contract. No doubt he will have clauses in that contract that he will have to promote the best interests of the club. But he will argue that the club were prepared to give him a rise in salary after the Costa incident.”

Chelsea’s first game of pre-season is the July 23 friendly with Perth Glory.

The Blues leave for Western Australia next Wednesday and will hope Sarri is on board.

Sarri has replaced Conte as boss before, with a short-lived spell at Arezzo in 2006-07 before Conte was reappointed.

During three years with Napoli, Sarri’s side finished Serie A runners-up twice. He is yet to win a trophy in professional football.

Gianfranco Zola, the former Chelsea playmaker, could join Sarri’s coaching staff – if his fellow Italian is appointed.

The Blues have also been linked with signing Napoli’s Italy midfielder Jorginho.