CHELSEA owner Roman Abramovich is unsure whether Maurizio Sarri is ready for the Premier League, it has been claimed.
Sarri has left Napoli to be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti, who has reportedly agreed a two-year deal with the club.
Sarri, 59, is one of the most respected bosses in Europe having guided Napoli to a second-placed finish in Serie A this season. He is now without a job.
Antonio Conte guided Chelsea to an FA Cup win on Sunday but that won’t be enough for him to stay on at Stamford Bridge.
Although he remains in position for now, it’s expected he will get the chop in the coming days – paying the price for failing to qualify for the Champions League.
Blues chiefs have considered Sarri as a replacement but Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri says Abramovich has his doubts over his credentials.
Palmeri tweeted: “Chelsea-Sarri: nothing has changed yet. The contact has happened, but Abramovich hasn’t taken a decision yet, and he is still not persuaded that Sarri can be ready for Premier. Sarri got on table a 6 millions € offer from Zenit.”
Bookies, however, are certain Sarri will get the gig.
Coral cut the Italian into 1-2 (from 7-4) to be the next permanent Chelsea manager after it was announced he is to leave Napoli to be replaced by Ancelotti.
Luis Enrique is second best in the latest betting at 2-1 to take over from Conte this summer, while Brendan Rodgers is 6-1.
“We’ve been knocked over with interest in the Sarri becoming the next permanent Chelsea manager where he is now the clear odds-on favourite to take over the reins from Antonio Conte,” said Coral’s John Hill.
Abramovich, meanwhile, has other things on his plate after beingordered to explain his vast wealth to get a visa.
Insiders say Abramovich, worth £8billion, has been caught in a clampdown on money flowing into Britain, sparked by the Salisbury poisoning.
Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Government’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said there was no excuse for the UK to turn a blind eye to money laundered through London.
Damage He added: “The scale of damage that this ‘dirty money’ can do to UK foreign policy interests dwarfs the benefit of Russian transactions in the City.”
But Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said: “We are witnesses to an unprecedented Russophobia mania in Great Britain which is expressed in many forms, such as these.”
The crackdown means Abramovich, who missed his club’s FA Cup win is being treated as a ‘new applicant’ for a UK visa, it is understood.
Abramovich could be barred from entering Jersey despite being granted residency.