The future of Antonio Conte remains increasingly uncertain, with the Italian expected to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer. A number of high-profile names have been linked with the role and Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri is the latest manager to throw his hat into the ring. The Partenopei’s Serie A title bid has seemingly fallen short and the 59-year old has recently suggested he’d relish the chance to join a Premier League club.
It’s been a disappointing season for Chelsea with the Blues sitting fifth in the Premier League and looking likely to miss out on a top-four position. UEFA stipulate that only five teams from each country can participate in the Champions League. Therefore, even if the Blues were to sneak into fourth ahead of Liverpool, a Reds victory in the Champions League could still deny them a place in the competition next season, if coupled with an Arsenal success in the Europa League.
Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona at the beginning of March but the Blaugrana subsequently exited at the hands of Roma in the quarter-finals of the competition.
They began the season as second favourites in the outright market behind fellow La Liga outfit, Real Madrid. Los Blancos remain in the competition and booked their place in the final following a 4-3 aggregate success against Bayern Munich and are now the 8/11 favourites to wrap up a third consecutive Champions League success.
Anyone backing Zinedine Zidane’s side to triumph yet again in the Champions League betting markets can use one of many free bets and offers which are available on the competition including a £30 free bet courtesy of Paddy Power.
Sarri’s Napoli exited the competition at the group stage this season after being drawn alongside Manchester City, Feyenoord and Shakhtar Donetsk but managed to secure third position, which saw them drop into the Europa League.
Napoli were involved in the race for Scudetto in Serie A this season and their two-way battle with Juventus has been absolutely fascinating. Sarri’s men were defeated 2-0 by Fiorentina in Florence on April 29th which realistically ended their hopes of breaking the Bianconeri’s dominance of the division. The coach cut a frustrated figure on the touchline before criticising the league’s predictability. He also praised the Premier League, suggesting that the competitive nature of the division makes it more interesting for fans.
Abramovich is believed to be willing to pay the 59-year olds release clause although the lack of Champions League football could potentially scupper the deal. Luis Enrique is another name heavily linked with the potential-vacancy.
Many Chelsea fans believe that Maurizio Sarri would be able to get the best out of players like Eden Hazard and Willian with the Napoli coach an attack-minded tactician, whose sides pour forward at every opportunity. His side have averaged over two goals per game this season with 71 strikes in 35 matches and the Blues fans would surely relish the opportunity to witness their star players given more freedom next season.
Whichever manager takes over the Stamford Bridge hot-seat next year must immediately set their sights on guiding the club back to the Champions League and Maurizio Sarri is likely to be many fans’ first choice. He is reportedly keen on a move to the Premier League and the potential vacancy at Chelsea could be the ideal opportunity for the Naples-born coach to make his move to the English top flight.