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Chelsea’s Sarri deal now ‘imminent’ for Tuesday because it’s a day ending in ‘y’

It’s all very noisy on the Italian front

Audi Cup 2017 Press Conference Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images For AUDI

Almost exactly one month ago, on May 19th, that most fateful of dates in Chelsea, Chelsea were expected to sack Antonio Conte, with or without an FA Cup trophy in hand. As it turns out, it would’ve been with the trophy in hand. Not that it matters as we can’t help but notice that the ‘Confather’ remains (technically) in charge. He’s on holidays, waiting patiently for his sacking or the first day of preseason and a return to work, whichever might come first.

Meanwhile, Chelsea continue to be strongly linked with Maurizio Sarri, recently of Napoli but currently stuck in a similar limbo to Antonio Conte, minus the part where he’s got a job to return to. That role has already been filled with Carlo Ancelotti, but Sarri remains contracted as well. He’s been said to be on the verge of joining Chelsea for several weeks already. It was supposed to be last week, or the week before. Hot days followed crucial days; meetings and representatives and understandings galore. Meanwhile, De Laurentiis claimed that no one from Chelsea has contacted him, which rumors then explained away by adding intermediaries and representatives.

That explanation is just one of the many noises coming out of Italy over the weekend, most sourced from outlets of dubious repute, some that we’ve never even heard of before (Corriere del Mezzogiorno what?). That doesn’t necessarily make them wrong, but when the others involved in reporting these things are the likes of The Sun and The Express and the myriad of random Italian outlets, it’s pretty easy to ignore them.

Still, the volume continues to rise. Fortunately, the fine folk at Football Italia have gathered all that nonsense into an easily digestible post, which you should read.

Here are the highlights:

  • Chelsea to pay €5m for Sarri (transfer fee, not salary, which is about that much as well as per the latest rumors). This amount was rejected before, supposedly, and Chelsea were trying to get it done for free, but apparently this is the new middle-ground. The no-compete clause for certain players with release clauses is still in there, too.
  • Gianfranco Zola to join as well, maybe not as Director of Football, but a sort of a liaison with the Board. And that’s fine; he can avoid undue blame this way for when things go inevitably awry.
  • Sarri’s staff to include: Giovanni Martusciello, Marco Ianni, Davide Losi, Massimo Nenci and Davide Ranzato.
  • All this to be done on Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Presumably because it’s a day ending in ‘y’ and thus as good a guess as any.

Oh, and if Chelsea don’t get it all done before July 1, Sarri’s €8m release clause is reactivated. So that could be fun.

Is any of this reliable? Who knows. But Chelsea’s radio silence continues, and this is the best we’ve got. So, all eyes on Tuesday, I suppose?

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