Former Spurs and AS Roma sporting director Franco Baldini does not hold an official position with the Giallorossi these days, but he remains a highly trusted and very close advisor to club president James Pallotta. And that’s good news for Maurizio Sarri, who apparently has a very close relationship with him, dating all the way back to Sarri’s days in the depths of the Italian league. Baldini, in his role as an advisor and power-player, helped Sarri work his way up the ladder as football manager, most notably helping him land his first job in Serie B at Pescara in 2005.
Now, as Corriere dello Sport reports, Baldini might be pulling the right strings again and putting fortward Sarri as the prime candidate for the (expected) AS Roma coaching vacancy this summer — former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri is currently in charge, but only as a glorified caretaker. The report does make it clear that Roma would only consider Sarri if he got fired by Chelsea this summer, which is certainly a possibility, especially with these rumors making it pretty clear that Roma would sign him up immediately, thus sparing Chelsea some of the severance payments that would be due (and we know how much we love to save that cash, right, Antonio?).
In any case, Corriere claims that Sarri and Baldini met a couple months ago — which Sarri denied at the time — and that the Chelsea head coach advised Baldini that if he isn’t available, they should go after current Sampdoria head coach Marco Giampaolo instead, who’s also a big proponent of Sarri-ball and succeeded Sarri at Empoli back in 2015. Sarri-balls for alls, there’s your footballing utopia!
All these machinations are happening at some summit in Boston with Palletta, where Baldini’s giving out advice not only about a new head coach but also about a new director of football. And while Roma reportedly had all but sealed the deal for Lille’s Luis Campos, Corriere say that deal has now hit some “complications”. Chance for Chelsea to gazump for a proper director of football then? I’m not holding my breath...