In a week, Chelsea are set to reconvene for the start of preseason at Cobham, and it’s still unclear who the head coach (or the coaching staff, even) will be to start guiding those players not involved in the World Cup through their preparations for the season ahead. After all, it is not just Antonio Conte who’s on the chopping block but his entire coaching staff as well.
Time has literally run out for Chelsea to do this on the cheap if that’s what we had been wanting all along. If there’s some other factor other than financial that’s contributing to the club’s reluctance to sack Conte, then this could truly become an interesting week. Chelsea have never had this much trouble in sacking head coaches, or hiring them, for that matter. We’ve never appointed a coach this late in the summer under Roman Abramovich’s rule.
The last two weeks have seen plenty of rumors regarding hot days and imminent days and crucial days, and they will likely continue until something actually ends up happening. That something could be Maurizio Sarri flying to London on Monday, as reported by both Naples local news Il Mattino and the usually less reliable national news outlet Mediaset Premium.
Maurizio Sarri will reportedly fly in on Monday to begin #ChelseaFC takeover from Antonio Conte and decided to live within the Cobham training ground https://t.co/8GOr8xIvw3 #CFC #Napoli pic.twitter.com/l5JejpZdd2— footballitalia (@footballitalia) June 24, 2018
Il Mattino runs through many of the details that we’ve heard before, though they put the start of preseason on July 6 instead of July 2 as reported by sources closer to the club. (They also put much of the blame for delays on Conte rather than De Laurentiis, which is pretty funny and perhaps indicative of their sourcing.)
In any case, Sarri’s set for a three-year deal at €6m per, and Chelsea will pay Napoli €5m. Sarri apparently “will live in the technical center” (i.e. Cobham), which I didn’t think was possible but maybe he realizes that there is so much work to do that he might as well just sleep on the couch in his office.