Maurizio Sarri finally got his wish and left Chelsea to join Juventus last night – after the two clubs agreed a £7million divorce settlement.
His bizarre one-season stint as head coach came to an end when the Italian champions agreed to buy out the final two years of his deal.
Juve director Fabio Paratici was forced to fly to London to stump up extra dosh after Chelsea dug their heels in and refused to let Sarri go on the cheap.
He still has two years left on his £5m a year contract and Stamford Bridge transfer chief Marina Granovskaia was holding out for the full amount.
Chelsea were willing to let the tug-of-war rage on all summer unless Juve came up with the necessary sum.
A compromise was agreed during a late night meeting between the pair and Sarri is now on his way back home after just 11 months as a Premier League manager.
That leaves the way clear for Chelsea to step up their pursuit of a successor and Championship Derby County are braced for an official approach for their manager and former Blues midfielder Frank Lampard to take over.
Lampard is the fans’ favourite as the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
He is relatively inexperienced after just one season in management although he did get the Rams to the Play-Off final.
He would come back alongside another ex-Chelsea player in Jody Morris, who previously impressed as the club’s Under-18s coach.
Max Allegri, the man Sarri is replacing, is another contender and highly thought of for his experience restoring Juventus to the dominant force in Italian football.
Two-time Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has told pals he would fancy a third crack with Chelsea while RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick is another on the radar but both are outsiders.
Chelsea have reluctantly let Sarri go because he made it obvious he wanted out – making it crystal clear in an interview in which he admitted being homesick.