Maurizio Sarri may have been dismissed from his post at Napoli and while it’s still unclear as to whether he’s been freed of his contract altogether, The Telegraph’s Matt Law claims that the 59-year-old manager has his sights firmly set on the Chelsea job.
This isn’t all that surprising — there haven’t been too many names linked with the potential vacancy if Conte is sacked, but Sarri has been one of the consistently mentioned ones. With other developments in Naples over the past 24 hours, as Carlo Ancelotti signs on the dotted line, Sarri’s arrival at Stamford Bridge had become all but a foregone conclusion.
Not so fast!
The report claims that Sarri must actually still convince Chelsea that he’s the best man for the job, while other candidates continue to be considered. He wants this very much apparently, and has even hired an ‘English-based intermediary’ to help him do so.
What would Sarri need to convince the Blues about? The foremost issue is (and hopefully Law is indeed correct about this) Sarri’s recent sexist and homophobic remarks. And while he apologized for the former, he dismissed Roberto Mancini’s accusations of the latter — but still copped a two-match ban and a fine from the Italian FA. Law also mentions that Sarri is a “chain smoker”, but in the grand scheme of things, that surely isn’t an actual footballing concern. There appears to be no doubts about Sarri’s on-pitch qualities, but surely Chelsea would prefer a “safer” option when it comes to potential off-pitch drama and sideshows.
Unfortunately for us, as the reports reminds us, Luis Enrique’s safety still comes with a much higher price. Meanwhile, Leonardo Jardim has re-committed himself to Monaco ... and there’s really not much else out there.
For a moment it appeared as if we were well on our way to ‘Sarri-ball’ at Stamford Bridge, but there may yet be some distance between the concerned parties that needs to be bridged.