Maurizio Sarri has reportedly agreed a three-year contract to take over at Chelsea this summer.
Reports from Sport Italia claim that a breakthrough in negotiations has happened, but Chelsea still have to agree a fee with Napoli.
The report claims that Sarri will pocket around £7 million a year during his time in London.
The former Napoli boss has been Chelsea’s number one target to replace Antonio Conte, but their pursuit has been complicated by the manner of his departure from Naples.
The Blues had the chance to pay his £7 million release clause but that has since expired, but the Premier League side still need to negotiate a fee with Napoli, despite the club already hiring Carlo Ancelotti as his replacement.
The report claims that Chelsea remain keen for Sarri to bring defender Elseid Hysaj with him to Stamford Bridge.
David Luiz continues to be linked with a move in the opposite direction. The Brazilian could be used as a bargaining chip to help Chelsea conclude a deal.
Sarri to Chelsea: ‘Healthy realism’, another meeting held in London, leaning ‘towards optimism’
Despite all the talk about Laurent Blanc potentially taking over at Stamford Bridge, perhaps Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea isn’t dead and buried just yet.
This is what Corriere dello Sport are reporting on Wednesday, with both of the former Napoli’s representatives, Fali Ramadani and Alessandro Pellegrini, currently in London.
The Italian newspaper clarify neither are there as tourists, having held their third (or maybe fourth) meeting with Chelsea, but Abramovich has yet to make a decision.
However, with the Premier League season starting in less than two months, it’s something he’s going to have to deal with sooner rather than later, either sacking Antonio Conte or keeping faith in his current manager in the hope he turns things around next season.
Sarri is said to have received ‘perceptions that lean towards optimism’ from his representatives regarding his chances of taking over at Stamford Bridge, ‘not exaggerated but sufficient to feel like he could be traveling (ideally) towards London’.
Calling it ‘healthy realism’, Corriere do however explain it’s impossible to ‘read the crystal ball’ and try and predict what could happen in the managerial roundabout, something Sarri has stopped doing since his trip to London a couple of weeks ago with his son, where he was met by Ramadani and Pellegrini.
Once again, we’re back to the question: will Abramovich decide to splash the cash on Antonio Conte’s dismissal and hire Maurizio Sarri?