Thursday, April 25, 2024

Chelsea: Antonio Conte Replacement Close To Signing Deal

The well-experienced coach has done wonders with his current side and has even gone as far as to make 33 times Scudetti winners Juventus sweat over the last two seasons. But with the Serie A the only remaining title race left to be decided, Napoli sit within two points off Juventus after a win over the weekend.

But manager Maurizio Sarri’s future has been up in the air with rumors going either way for quite some time.

The 59-year-old won went on to win Serie A coach of the year last season after Napoli’s heroic attempt to stop Juventus from making it six Scudetti in a row, has been earmarked as one of Chelsea’s top targets to replace Antonio Conte at the Bridge. With the Blues struggling despite winning the Premier League title last season in Conte’s debut season, the Chelsea board has been looking for a new manager with rumors of a falling out between manager and his board.

But Antonio Conte’s public comments criticizing Chelsea’s transfers and transfer budget has certainly not helped his standing with the board. That’s why the Chelsea board have created a shortlist with the likes Luis Enrique, Carlo Ancelotti and Maurizio Sarri making the list.

But with rumors about Enrique not wanting the job because of Roman Abramovich, things have just gotten worse with Sarri confirming that he is close to signing a new deal. In an interview with TvLuna [via], the 59-year-old said “It is not a problem. The contract is there and we will have to make sure the conditions are agreed.

The fans are great and I hope I can always give 100 percent. If I am not able to do that then I will have to take a step back. Otherwise, I can go on. I feel a big debt to the fans and the only way I can [repay it] is to give my best.”

The Italian’s free-flowing attacking football has found its way into Napoli’s heart, winning both fans and critics alike over the last two seasons. However, not only that Maurizio Sarri has won plaudits for not spending too heavily on players and using the players at his disposal. This has allowed Napoli to flourish again this season, winning 23 games and losing only 2 as they sit two points behind Juventus.

“There was never an air of resignation,” Sarri further added talking about the title race. “The fans and the media are getting accustomed to our extraordinary feats. We must not be prisoners of anything, we have a path to pursue. The boys are giving 101 percent, more than I can ask. I arrived in Naples and I found this team at my disposal. We will do what we can; if that will be enough or not, we do not know.”

Maurizio Sarri would have made a wonderful Chelsea manager but Napoli has made the smart move and hopefully will tie him down with a lucrative and long-term deal. While this does put a major dent in Chelsea’s plans for a post-Antonio Conte future, it does at the same time make the Serie A that much more entertaining to watch.

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