Four days before the start of pre-season training, the Chelsea head coaching situation remains unresolved.
Last night’s report from The Times, about Conte letting the players know that he will be there bright and early on Monday morning to welcome them back to what’s bound to be a grueling preseason regardless of who’s in charge, has now been followed up by a few other reports in the Chelsea multiverse, including ESPN’s Liam Twomey and the Evening Standard’s Simon Johnson.
Twomey’s report confirms the two main claims from the Times, that Conte and the club disagreed over the start of preseason (which prompted Conte to send the email) and that Conte very much intends to return to work on Monday. He does have a contract after all.
Still, it’s a big giant mess, to be clear.
It’s hard to overstate just how big a mess this is. Chelsea have been trying to get Sarri since May. The transfer window closes in just over a month & there have been zero signings.— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) July 5, 2018
One person familiar with the situation described it to me as “unbelievable”. #cfc
Johnson’s report strikes a bit more hopeful tone, saying that it still would be surprising if Sarri isn’t appointed this weekend. At this point, not so sure how anyone can claim any optimism regarding a situation that Chelsea have been unable to resolve for a month and a half (and even longer, if we consider that the club seemingly has been intending to sack Conte since February, at least).
Meanwhile in Italy, reports of “indirect” contacts and negotiations continue as well. This time it’s Carlo Alvino, the local reported with supposedly good sources, who tells the tale of more lawyers, more talks, more waffling. Alvino’s tweet is a bit hard to decipher, but it would appear that the negotiations concern not only the economic aspect, but regarding transfers and transfer market activities as well. Considering Chelsea’s chequered recent history in that aspect, not to mention the absolute zero business of the summer so far, Sarri’s probably right to be concerned.
Primo aggiornamento. Vicenda Sarri-Chelsea. Continuano i contatti indiretti. Il Napoli ha delegato alla trattativa l’avv. Grassani. Gioco al rialzo del club azzurro che riguarda non solo l’aspetto economico ma anche atteggiamenti e comportamenti sul mercato.— Carlo Alvino (@Carloalvino) July 5, 2018
Never a boring day at Chelsea Football Club, that’s for sure.