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Laurent Blanc replaces Maurizio Sarri as ‘prime candidate’ for Chelsea job — report

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Avram Grant a fallback option, too?

Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The midnight deadline has come and gone and Maurizio Sarri’s €8m buyout clause was not exercised.

Chelsea’s refusal to pay what in the grand scheme of things amounts to very little, especially as Napoli are set to continue insisting on that amount even without the buyout in please, has become so baffling that the Daily Mail have linked Avram Grant with an hilarious return to Stamford Bridge.


BONUS UPDATE: This morning’s Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia) thinks Sarri could actually end up at Spurs, replacing Real Madrid-bound Pochettino.


“It is understood Avram Grant remains a key member of Abramovich’s inner sanctum,” claims the piece co-authored by Matt Lawton (a regular on the Chelsea beat) and Sami Mokbel (normally of speculative transfer rumors). Grant is currently the head coach at Indian Super League side NorthEast United, which follows a three-year stint in charge of the Ghanaian national team, during which time they did finish runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations.

But linking Grant with the Chelsea job is about as obvious as linking Guus Hiddink, or, say Leonid Slutsky, if Leonid Slutsky weren’t already in a job as well.

One man who’s not in a football management job and hasn’t been for two years is Laurent Blanc, whose name re-emerged from the shadows earlier this week and could now ride in like a white knight and save us from our predicament. The Mail’s claim to this effect is certainly far more believable than any hogwash regarding Avram Grant.

Is any of this an actual possibility?

Given the events of the past 24 hours, not sure anything can be safely ruled out. Zidane’s resigned and Real are set to flex their muslces. Abramovich has gone to visa-war and the rumor mill has only begun the speculate there. The Sarri standoff continues, the lawyers are set to come in, and Chelsea could very well take a safer option, whatever that may be.

Stay tuned, I guess.