The waltz of benches has begun. Or to go more recent with the pop culture reference, the Game of (Managerial) Thrones is now in full swing in Italy, Max Allegri’s departure at Juventus serving as the proverbial shock beheading at the end of Season 1 to throw the realm into chaos.
With Juventus casting their net far and wide, most reports agree that Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri is at the top of their list. The latest along those lines is from Gianluca “Lord Varys” Di Marzio, whose little birdies bring word of Sarri being the “strongest candidate” for the Old Lady. This certainly fits the narrative that’s been building over the past few days, with the probability of Sarri leaving set at 70 per cent, the bookies making him the favorite, and Sarri himself apparently wanting clarity on his future after the Europa League final next week.
Di Marzio doubles down on this by adding that Chelsea have already lined up (“booked”) Frank Lampard as Sarri’s replacement — Lampard, like Sarri, is busy through the end of the month as Derby County play the final of the Championship Promotion Playoffs a couple days before the Europa League final.
There are other candidates of course on Juve’s list — Simone Inzaghi, Sinisa Mihajlović two of the less obvious names — but Sarri looks to be the surprise leader. With his Chelsea future far from assured despite a third-place finish and potential European trophy, it’s certainly a possibility that cannot be ruled out either.
Could Chelsea pull the plug on Sarri-ball after just one year of mixed results? Stranger things have certainly happened.