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Sarri able to join Chelsea for free but Aurelio de Laurentiis adds a catch — report

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The mad hatter of Naples, Vol. 37459

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SSC Napoli v OGC Nice Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Saying that there have been a few twists in the 'Maurizio Sarri succeeding Antonio Conte' saga would most definitely be an understatement at this point as there seems to be no end to the current narrative of the one Italian replacing the other in the next minutes, hours, days or weeks.

One man who represents a major contributing factor in this ongoing narrative is Napoli's owner and local Bond villain impersonator Aurelio De Laurentiis, known to us for wasting a whole summer of Chelsea's time regarding former (and current?) transfer target Kalidou Koulibaly, a centre-back.

Now, it seems, a further plot twist has been added to our persisting interest in the Napoli coach.

After having seemingly already signed Carlo Ancelotti as new manager, De Laurentiis has reportedly told Chelsea that they can have Sarri for free as long as David Luiz is sold to them for a 'cut-price' sum (how much that may be is still unclear). You wouldn't put it past him, however, to change this offer another two or ten times.

As ironic as it may seem that Napoli is now keen on one of Chelsea's centre-backs, this interest doesn't come as a surprise due to continuous speculation surrounding their defender Koulibaly whose departure is seen as a certainty in Italy, if Sarri were to leave.

Now, even if Chelsea were willing to agree to these terms (and that's a big if), there's still David Luiz himself who could always decline such a move. On the other hand, Luiz knows Uncle Carlo (who brought him to Stamford Bridge in 2011) so that might very well represent a big factor in favour of this crazy deal.

For Chelsea, a potentially free-of-cost Sarri would of course be a good deal as the £7m release clause (which may or may not have expired) wouldn't be added to the already necessary £9m, which a departure of Conte would demand.

In any case, the upcoming hours or days should be highly interesting and I'm quite certain that we'll be seeing more drama and plot twists in the 'Sarri to Chelsea' narrative.

Stay tuned!