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Chelsea push back start of preseason with Conte, Sarri both preparing for training camp

Confusion reigns at Chelsea Football Club

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Very competent football club Chelsea FC have very competently taken care of business this summer to the point where not one but two very competent head coaches are preparing pre-season training plans. Two is better than one, right? We’re definitely winning the league.

Pre-season activities were set to start this coming week, July 2, but that’s highly unlikely at this point, to say the least, with Sarri not expected to be appointed until July 3 at the earliest (if at all?). While the youth teams will reconvene, the first-team is now not expected to be back until the week after, on July 9.

The only players exempt are the eleven still involved in the World Cup — Cahill, Loftus-Cheek, Kante, Giroud, Hazard, Courtois, Batshuayi, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Willian, and Caballero — and the three who were eliminated in the group stage (Rudiger, Moses, Omeruo). They presumably will get a few weeks of vacation, though if Victor Moses is any indication, they may not be quite sure just how much.

Not only is there confusion regarding the start date, it’s still not clear who will be taking charge of pre-season itself. Maurizio Sarri is supposed to be appointed this week, next week, last week, the week before, the week after, every week, any week. Always the next 48 hours. Very crucial.

But until that happens, the only official head coach at Chelsea is Antonio Conte, who still hasn’t been sacked despite all the Sarri intentions. In fact, Conte’s also preparing for Chelsea preseason, and in his usual rigorous style.

So, come next week or the week after, whoever will actually be in charge will have to get down to business without another minute wasted. The July 9 start date is exactly one month before the end of the transfer window and five weeks before the start of the new Premier League season. That Conte’s prepared is not surprising. Sarri better be as well.

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