CHELSEA are set to sack Antonio Conte in the next few hours, it has been claimed.
Roman Abramovich is expected to waste no time in appointing a replacement and will turn to former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, according to Spanish publication Sport.
Conte’s spell at Stamford Bridge looks to be coming to an end following last night’s 4-1 humiliation at Watford.
The defeat leaves the Premier League’s defending champions fourth in table, 19 points off leaders Manchester City.
Conte guided Chelsea to the title in impressive fashion in his maiden season last term but has fallen out with club chiefs over transfer targets and has constantly bemoaned the strength of his squad.
Speculation has mounted over Conte’s future as the wheels have come off the current campaign.
Speaking before the Watford clash, Conte had asked Abramovich for a public vote of confidence.
But after the Vicarage Road defeat, he appeared to challenge the Chelsea owner to pull the trigger.
Bookies have suspended betting on Conte being sacked and Sport claim the axe will be confirmed today.
Ex-Barcelona gaffer Enrique – currently out of work – is top of Abramovich’s wish list.
Enrique has received a number of offers but is reportedly attracted by project on offer at Chelsea and the opportunity to live in London.
If he agrees to take charge then one of his first games will be against Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 on February 20.
Enrique led Barcelona to the treble in his debut season in charge and picked up nine major honours before leaving the Nou Camp last June.