Chelsea are putting plans in place to install Maurizio Sarri as their new manager if Antonio Conte departs, according to reports in Italy.
A claim made by TV station 7 Gold (via Football Italia) suggests that the Lazio head coach would be offered a salary of €12m-a-season to replace Conte at Stamford Bridge if the Italian either left of his own accord or was relieved of his duties.
Conte’s future has been the source of plenty of speculation already this term and, despite only penning an improved two-year contract in the summer, this particular rumour just doesn’t want to go away.
The conjecture is born out of Conte’s own comments about wanting to head back to his homeland, and many media outlets have run with reports that the 48-year-old is homesick and wishes to leave west London.
That has led to a number of experienced bosses being lined up to replace him with the reigning Premier League champions, and Sarri is now the latest name to be thrown into the ring in a bid to stir the pot even more.
Sarri’s Napoli currently lie one point behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan and will jump into first position if they manage to secure a win over Genoa on Wednesday evening.
— Thé.O eMèz (@g10yom) October 24, 2017
The Argentine, who has also bafflingly been linked with the West Ham job, has seen his reputation rise significantly in the game since he took charge at Stadio San Paolo in June 2015 and would be available for a fee of around €6.75m.
Sarri has won an incredible 75 matches out of the 112 he has overseen with I Ciucciarelli and would be a man in demand if he ever opted to leave.
Napoli performed admirably in their recent 2-1 Champions League defeat away at Manchester City and some fans and pundits believe their display against Pep Guardiola’s men helped bring Sarri’s qualities to a wider audience.
The 58-year-old has, however, plied his trade exclusively in Italy throughout his managerial career and it would be questionable whether he could adapt to a new culture and way of life in England’s top flight if he took up the reins at Chelsea.