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Chelsea, Sarri at last hurdle; final approval, announcement expected next week — reports

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Complicated to the last

SSC Napoli v FC Crotone - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

After two days of intense meetings between Chelsea and Sarri’s intermediaries, it would appear that we’re 90 per cent there. A potential agreement has been hashed out — 2 years at €6-6.5m per year (up from the initially rumored €4m) — and now the only thing is the pesky buyout clause and/or convincing Aurelio De Laurentiis to play nice. ADL may have already hired Sarri’s replacement, but he’s yet to cancel the old coach’s contract (good through 2020). There is an €8m buyout available until May 31st, after which it’s anyone’s guess whether ADL could agree to something more reasonable.

All this is from Alfredo Pedullà, whose reporting we’ve followed closely since this story started intensifying. His reporting does not confirm that Sarri himself was at the meetings on Friday, as Napoli radio claimed, but I suppose that part is academic at the moment.

Pedullà claims that Chelsea’s proposal will be presented to Sarri in the next couple days for the final approval. Once he utters the placet, Chelsea can move forward with figuring out the transfer fee situation. That will be the final hurdle — a “tightrope” as the report puts it — but an announcement is still expected next week as per a separate, but more or less matching report in Gazzetta dello Sport.

(As far as Conte, Pedullà says that relationship is “closed” in the definitive now, and it’s only a matter of getting the Sarri deal over the line before the sacking can be made official.)