Roman Abramovich has personally called Napoli’s Aurelio De Laurentiis in a bid to speed up an agreement over Maurizio Sarri.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, as cited on Sports Mediaset, the Chelsea owner has taken matters into his hands after days of talks between the two clubs.
Napoli and Chelsea remain in discussions over a fee to release Sarri from his contract in Naples, despite the Italians already hiring Carlo Ancelotti as his replacement.
Talks are said to have been held through the representatives of both parties but Abramovich has acted himself as the Blues look to seal a deal within the next few hours.
The report claims that Napoli has also continued talks with Marina Granovskaia, with a deal appearing to be in the final stages.
Antonio Conte remains in charge at Chelsea and is beginning the club’s pre-season preparations today as senior players returned to the training ground over the weekend.
Jorginho transfer doubt for Man City as Chelsea ‘make late bid’
Manchester City is yet reach an agreement with Napoli for midfielder Jorginho amid reports Chelsea are trying to hijack the prospective deal for Jorginho.
But the player is known to have his heart set on joining the Blues, after agreeing on personal terms with them weeks ago.
And that could lead to a wrangle between his agent and selling club Napoli, who are determined to squeeze out as much money as they can for the player.
Napoli has already bought a replacement for the Italy international, spending £26million on Fabian Luiz last week.
But claims a fortnight ago that City and Napoli had already agreed a deal was premature, as reported by MEN Sport.
City valued the Brazil-born star, who is Pep Guardiola ‘s number one midfield target, at around £35million, while the Serie A club wanted nearer to £53million.
It was widely reported last week that the deal had been done at a compromise £48million, but that was certainly not the whisper coming out of the City camp, even though the player was left out of the Napoli squad for their pre-season training.
They have made it plain all along that they are prepared to be patient to land their top targets Jorginho and Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez and hoped to unveil at least one of them this week.
Now the Italian media are full of reports that Chelsea – expected to appoint Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri as their new manager this week – will also swoop for Jorginho.
That could be a rumor being put about by Napoli in a bid to panic City but it is unlikely to work – unless Jorginho does an about-turn.
If he does, City will turn to Real Madrid and Croatia star Mateo Kovacic or Southampton’s Mario Lemina, while they are also being linked with Juventus ace Miralem Pjanic.