The Italian media has worked themselves into a bit of frenzy to start this week, with the links between Juventus and Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri growing ever stronger in an apparent self-feedback loop. While over the weekend, he was just a “strong candidate” with an at most 70 per cent chance of leaving, by Monday night he was practically sacked and on his way to Turin — even though he still has the Europa League final to play only after which he himself is expecting any sort of clarity on his situation.
All the usual candidates are involved, from Pedullà to Di Marzio to the big splashes on the front pages. Here’s Corriere dello Sport’s front page for Tuesday, for example, leaving little doubt about the angle they’re taking. Avanti!
Di Marzio’s latest report continues to put forth both Lazio head coach Simone Inzaghi (who’s apparently close with Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici) and Sarri, but also casually drops that Chelsea “have already decided” to part ways with our head coach and give the reins over to Frank Lampard. While Inzaghi is apparently open to the switch, Lazio supremo Claudio Lotito is “stubborn” and thus could put Sarri in the job instead. The narrative certainly doesn’t expect Chelsea to be stubborn about this.
But Di Marzio has been a bit of a hit and miss when it comes to Chelsea’s Napoli-related dealings, even as he remains a pre-eminent voice in the Italian rumor mill.
The man who’s become our Oracle is Alfredo Pedullà, who’s reporting on SportItalia (via Football Italia) that there have been “steps forward” while the outlet has cranked that up even further by upgrading the usual “hot days” to “hot hours” with Juventus apparently “making progress” with Sarri even as he was overseeing Chelsea training for he Europa League final. Magic! Many reports also include Higuaín’s name as an indicator that this is something real, even though Juventus quite clearly want nothing to do with the quickly fading striker.
Meanwhile, the people in charge continue to claim that they are taking their time, although with the season not quite over yet for either Juventus or Chelsea, they may not have much choice. Paratici himself has joined Juventus VP Pavel Nedved in this regard, also confirming that they do have a “clear idea” about who the next coach might be.
“We are taking our time in selecting the new Coach. We need patience, we are evaluating the right candidates and have clear ideas.”
-Fabio Paratici; source: Football Italia
Will it be Sarri? Will it be Inzaghi? Will it be someone else? Maybe we’ll find out soon enough so we don’t have to keep on dealing with this nonsense all summer.