Maurizio Sarri is close to becoming Chelsea’s new manager.
Sky Sports News reported on Tuesday that Sarri’s agent is in London to finalise his move to Stamford Bridge as the Blues prepare for a changing of the guard.
Antonio Conte, of course, remains in charge but not for much longer.
The 48-year-old becomes the latest in a long list of managers that Roman Abramovich has dumped.
But at least he had some success during his time in west London, winning the Premier League in 2017 and the FA Cup a year later.
While Sarri, who has been replaced at Napoli by Carlo Ancelotti, isn’t Chelsea’s boss yet, he’s already making plans to improve the squad.
Indeed, the Telegraph are reporting that he is eager to sign a player who Conte tried to bring to Chelsea - twice.
Sarri wants a forward
In each of his two summers in charge, Conte tried to convince Chelsea to sign Belgium forward Dries Mertens.
But Chelsea deemed the 31-year-old too old and too expensive.
Now, Sarri looks set to try his luck after telling friends that he wants to take Mertens with him to Chelsea.
The £24.5 million release clause in Mertens’ Napoli contract expired last week, which will play into the Serie A club’s hands.
And Chelsea aren’t the only club with an interest in the forward. He has received lucrative offers from China, while Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Schalke have been linked.
Mertens showed what he’s all about with a wonderful volley in Belgium’s 3-0 win over Panama on Monday and the Telegraph’s report adds that Sarri believes he would be “the perfect man” to line up on the right of a front three.
That’s where he plays for Belgium, on the opposite flank to Eden Hazard.
It’s not just in the transfer department where Sarri is hard at work.
Club legend Gianfranco Zola has been linked with a return to the Bridge and Sarri is believed to be keen to have the Italian with him at the club.
Whether it be as a coach or on the technical side, Zola’s return would go down well with both the fans and the players.
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