Maurizio Sarri will make a new striker his priority if gets the manager’s job at Chelsea with Mauro Icardi his number one target, according to reports.
Antonio Conte’s future at the club is up in the air with rumours throughout the season that he could leave the club this summer despite winning the FA Cup.
The Blues finished the Premier League season in fifth place, though, which means the club missed out on a Champions League place for next season.
A report in the Daily Express claims that Sarri has agreed on a £5.5million-a-year deal with Chelsea but Napoli – his current employers – want a £7million compensation fee to buy him out of the remaining two years of his contract.
One of Sarri’s conditions for joining Chelsea is that the club invests in a new striker, according to Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport.
With Inter Milan striker Icardi ‘top of the list of reinforcements’ after he scored 29 goals this season to win the Serie A Golden Boot award.
Icardi has a £96million (€110million) release clause in his contract that owner Roman Abramovich will have to activate if Chelsea is to land the Argentinian.
Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata are the Blues main strikers with the latter not ripping up trees in his first campaign in English football.
With Morata and Michy Batshuayi’s – who spent the second part of the season out on loan at Dortmund – future at the club uncertain, it would seem wise for Sarri to demand a striker.
Frank Lampard and Derby remain optimistic of deal
Derby and Frank Lampard remain in talks over the vacant manager’s job with both parties optimistic a deal can be reached, Sky Sports News understands.
The Rams have been searching for a new manager since the departure of Gary Rowett to Sky Bet Championship rivals Stoke last week.
Sky Sports News understands a number of contractual issues still need to be addressed, but Lampard and Derby are keen to get the deal done.
Jody Morris, who has led Chelsea’s U18s to the FA Youth Cup in successive seasons, is expected to join Lampard as part of his coaching staff at Pride Park.
Lampard confirmed on Saturday that he was in talks with Derby over becoming the club’s new boss, with the 39-year-old keen to take his first steps into management.
The former Chelsea, West Ham and England midfielder was also interviewed twice for the vacant managerial position at Ipswich.
Lampard – capped 106 times by England – enjoyed a trophy-laden playing career winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League.
Derby ended the 2017/18 campaign in sixth place, but failed to gain promotion via the play-offs, losing to Fulham in the semi-finals.