Maurizio Sarri’s topsy-turvy spell as Chelsea’s manager is about to come to an end.
The Blues have reached an agreement with Juventus, according to Sky Sports sources, allowing the Italian coach to complete his move to Turin.
He will replace Massimiliano Allegri ahead of the 2019/20 season, assigned the task of helping Juve become European champions for the first time since 1996.
Chelsea are poised to receive up to €10 million in compensation, per the Telegraph’s Jason Burt, and have already identified the coach they want to succeed Sarri at Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard is now the overwhelming favourite to become Chelsea’s new permanent manager.
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Sky’s Kaveh Solhekol tweeted on Thursday night: “Chelsea have agreed deal with Juventus for Maurizio Sarri. They’ll receive more than £5m compensation. Deal will be announced in next 24 hours. Expect Frank Lampard to become Chelsea’s first English manager in 23 years.”
Indeed, Chelsea have had several English caretaker managers in recent times – Graham Rix, Ray Wilkins and Steve Holland – but you need to go back to 1996 for the last time Chelsea had a permanent English coach in the hot seat.
That was Glenn Hoddle, who managed Chelsea between 1993 and 1996.
Since then, the following managers have been in charge at Stamford Bridge: Ruud Gullit, Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafael Benitez, Mourinho again, Hiddink again, Antonio Conte and, finally, Sarri.
Lampard led Derby County to the Championship play-off final in his first season in management but was unable to help the Rams secure promotion to the Premier League.
Aston Villa defeated his side 2-1 at Wembley last month.
Nevertheless, Lampard still impressed in his role as Derby’s head coach, and Chelsea are now ready to hand him one of the biggest jobs in English football.
The Sun understand that Stamford Bridge bosses wanted Lampard to have one more season in management before appointing him – but that’s now changed after Sarri made it clear that he wanted to join Juve.
If Lampard agrees to become Chelsea’s manager – as is expected – he will take charge ahead of the club’s pre-season schedule, which gets underway next month.
His first competitive match will be away at Manchester United on August 11.