It appears we are finally nearing the end of the Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea saga, and it’s good news for the Blues, who seem to be on the verge of getting their man.
Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday report the former Napoli manager is ‘one step away’ from the Stamford Bridge job, with all that needs doing is putting pen to paper on the three-year contract he agreed to weeks ago.
After a month or so of beating around the bush, Roman Abramovich is said to have finally bit the bullet and agreed to pay Aurelio de Laurentiis the money required to free Sarri of his deal with the Serie A side following a ‘long meeting on Monday afternoon’.
With just ‘formalities’ and the ‘final contact’ between the two club owners left to sort out, Gazzetta are as close to adamant as one can be that Wednesday will be the day Chelsea will get their new manager, but aren’t holding their breath just in case an extra delay pops up out of nowhere.
Over at Cobham, Antonio Conte will remain professional to the very last second, both for his own pride and to ensure he gets every penny in his contract when he is sacked.
Then comes the transfer market, which Chelsea have yet to enter, but Sarri’s arrival will change that entirely.
Gonzalo Higuain, Daniele Rugani, Alex Sandro, Jorginho and Elseid Hysaj are all on the former Napoli manager’s wishlist, and Gazzetta believe there’s a chance Napoli agree to a joint deal for Sarri and the two players, or at least Sarri and Jorginho.
Il Mattino aren’t quite as positive but remain optimistic, believing Wednesday to be key, and also continue to peddle the idea of a deal for both the manager and Jorginho for a fee of €60m + bonuses after breaking the story a few days ago.
As for Corriere dello Sport, the national newspaper believe the whole thing is at the ‘photo finish’ stage.
While the Jorginho-Sarri joint deal is discussed, the Italian newspaper believe there might be another way around should the midfielder prefer a move to Manchester City: combining the Hysaj-Sarri deals.
The Albanian defender had a €50m release clause, but that expired towards the end of June, meaning any deal would now need to be negotiated, hence a potential package transfer.
Bottom line is, Chelsea have never been closer to getting rid of Conte and hiring Maurizio Sarri.
Our gut feeling is this could drag on for a couple more days, but we really hope that isn’t the case.
For everyone’s sake.