Barely 24 hours after winning the Europa League, rumours surfaced of Chelsea agreeing to release Maurizio Sarri from his contract. The confusing situation was made even less clear with conflicting reports about why that was happening, whether it was Sarri pushing for an exit, Chelsea pushing him out, or a combination of the two.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Sarri seems to confirm the idea that his desire to return to Italy is the primary motivation behind this whole thing. The reason why may be up for debate of course — he hasn’t exactly been welcomed with open arms and friendly smiles and big hugs, though his anti-social demeanor isn’t helping either and it sure sounds like he’s a bit homesick, too (ed.note: which isn’t strictly an “Italian” thing, it should be noted).
Either way, it’s the biggest indication yet that Sarri’s departure might is a matter of when and not if, even as he intends to go to a rival team just 12 months after leaving his home-region of Naples.
“For us Italians, the lure of going home is strong. You feel that something is missing. It was a heavy year. I began to feel the weight of distant friends, my elderly parents who I rarely see.
“But at my age, I only make professional choices. The Neapolitans know the love I feel for them. I chose to go abroad last year so as not to join another Italian team. This profession can lead to other paths, my relationship with them won’t change. Loyalty is giving 110 percent when you’re there. What does it mean to be faithful? And if one day your club send you away? What do you do? Stay true to a wife you divorced from?”
- Maurizio Sarri; source: Vanity Fair
Sarri also talks a bit in the full interview about his match day superstitions (still won’t step onto the pitch), political beliefs, social media activities (or lack thereof), the term ‘Sarrismo’ and finding it strange seeing coaches unhappy with a runner up finish. Not sure the last bit would amuse the Juventus ultras.
️ | Sarri:— Arjun Pradeep (@IndianRegista) June 4, 2019
"This concept of winning at all costs is an extreme that blurs the minds of the fans and some Coaches. This worries me a lot. It's a sport and it doesn't make sense. One cannot be unhappy with a second place finish."
Juventus sporting director, Fabio Paratici, was also asked about the situation while attending as awards night in, ironically, Naples, though he sidestepped the juicy part of it with expert ease.
“There is a range of coaches we are evaluating, we have clear ideas and we are working. There is no time limit, a little time is needed, then we will know the new coach. We are working and we are working calmly.”
“He said [he misses Italy], but all Italians say it. Here we eat very well! Sarri to Juve after having coached Napoli? I have many friends here, these days I have disconnected a little and read as little as possible.”
- Fabio Paratici; source: JuveFC
Following the back-to-back reigns of Antonio Conte and Max Allegri, Juventus are apparently looking for a new head coach to not only continue winning but but also bring forth a (r)evolution in the style of football. Hence, Pep Guardiola and Simone Inzaghi were some of the rumored targets, but since Inzaghi renewed his contract with Lazio and Pep is showing no signs of leaving City this year, Sarri has turned out to be the most attainable option. Chelsea are not very opposed to letting him go, it would appear.