Another day gone, another day of nothing changing. Maurizio Sarri remains the Chelsea manager. Frank Lampard remains the Derby County head coach. And N’Golo Kanté remains the nicest man on Earth.
While Sarri’s move to Juventus is surely a matter of when and not if, and he himself may be getting a bit disgruntled by yet another drawn out summer sage, it looks like there have been no significant breakthroughs in the past few days.
On Wednesday, the Evening Standard reported that the intermediary agent, Fali Ramadani flew back to London for further talks with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, in order to finalize the deal. Gianluca Di Marzio reported something similar, but he attached Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici’s name to the proceedings. Pedulla was also on the Paratici track while continuing to urge patience just as he did last summer.
While the deal is still expected to close and be announced by the end of the week — as mentioned many times before, Juventus took stadium tours off schedule for Friday, June 14, which many expect to mean that the new head coach will be announced that day — the delay might also be due to continued negotiations over final compensation. Chelsea are apparently still holding for a fee in the region of £5-6m, while Juventus would prefer to do it more creatively, like forgoing the loan fee for Gonzalo Higuaín, or throwing in extra cash on a player purchase, such as Emerson or the youngster Juan Familia-Castillo.
That latter is the angle that Sky Sports’ report took yesterday — with bonus Sarri homesickness as he revealed in his interview with Vanity Fair, not to mention the lack of support that he felt — but also throwing in the boondoggle of Chelsea having to find a replacement for Sarri. Lampard of course leads that category by quite some margin, that much everyone can agree on.
Either way, the writing seems to be on the wall. Sarri’s release from Chelsea will surely trigger talks between Chelsea and Derby for the release of Frank Lampard (and assistant Jody Morris), if it hasn’t already — not too many other realistic options out there at the moment, as Matt Law puts it in the Telegraph.