Chelsea hopeful of finally resolving manager headache after pausing transfer deals until Antonio Conte is replaced by Maurizio Sarri

Chelsea are aiming to finally have their managerial situation settled next week in order to press ahead with their summer recruitment plans.

Antonio Conte is expected to be dismissed before the start of next season, but the club are yet to end his employment.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is expected to be dismissed before the start of next season

Maurizio Sarri is a strong contender to replace Conte, while Laurent Blanc – who has been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in 2016 – has also been considered.

And the Blues are aware the uncertainty over who will lead the team next season leaves them at risk of missing out on their top targets.

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Much of the groundwork on potential new signings has already been completed, in many cases all that is left is for the manager to give the green light.

Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri is a strong contender to replace Conte at Stamford Bridge

During those discussions, Chelsea are understood to have informed representatives of players on their shopping list – including Robert Lewandowski, Anthony Martial and Jean Michael Seri – that a decision would be made by the end of May of start of June.

Chelsea are fully aware that their primary targets have alternative options on offer, leaving them in danger of missing out.

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is one of the players on Chelsea’s shopping list

Roman Abramovich is understood to have taken a hands-on role over any potential managerial appointment, holding talks with his closet aides about what direction Chelsea should head. 

Intriguingly, influential director Marina Granovskaia has flown to Moscow in recent days – though it is unclear whether Abramovich is in the Russian capital.

Nevertheless, Chelsea are keen to bring the saga to an end in the coming days as they look accelerate their preparations for next season.

Director Marina Granovskaia, pictured earlier this month, has flown to Moscow in recent days

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