The reliable Nizaar Kinsella of Goal.com has this afternoon confirmed that Chelsea have begun negotiations with club legend Frank Lampard over the possibility of replacing Maurizio Sarri.
Sarri’s Premier League experience
Italian tactician Sarri was the man chosen to replace fellow countryman Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge last summer.
The 60-year-old’s Chelsea stint, though, has since proven a somewhat perplexing experience.
Sarri’s debut campaign with the Blues saw him secure the Europa League title, reach the final of the League Cup, and finish in 3rd-place in the Premier League table.
However, despite what, on paper, appears a largely successful season, the former Napoli boss has never fully settled in London.
His opinion-splitting ‘Sarri-Ball’ methods have seen large sections of Chelsea’s fanbase turn on Sarri over the course of the campaign, with the form of the capital giants having often proven frustratingly-patchy.
Chelsea fans singing “you’re getting sacked in the morning” at Sarri. United fans adding “bring back Mourinho” then “Ole, Ole, Ole”.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) February 18, 2019
Now the chants of ‘F**k Sarri-ball’ have started from the away end 33 minutes into the match. #cfc
— Oliver Harbord (@ojharbord) March 31, 2019
Perfectly summing up the bizarre nature of Sarri’s tumultuous Chelsea spell were widespread reports, less than 24 hours after the tactician secured the first silverware of his managerial career in the Europa League final two weeks ago, that he was all set to replace Max Allegri at Serie A champions Juventus this summer:
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) May 30, 2019
The links between Sarri and the Bianconeri have persisted over the weeks since, with the Chelsea boss the runaway favourite to lead Juve into next season.
New contacts today between Maurizio Sarri’s agent and Chelsea. Roman Abramovich is now ready to let him return to Italy. Juventus are waiting for Sarri as new manager and a three-years contract is ready for him.… https://t.co/wnZHbxz0mm
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 7, 2019
As such, the board at Stamford Bridge have reportedly begun their search for a successor to Sarri.
Former Juve boss Max Allegri, who Sarri looks set to replace in Turin, is rumoured to have rejected an approach from the Blues, with links to Rafael Benitez having also been definitively shot down:
Chelsea won’t comment at all on managerial process but my sources tell me they don’t think there is anything in the Rafa Benitez link coming from Italy. Any angry fans can probably relax.
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) June 11, 2019
As confirmed by Nizaar Kinsella this afternoon, though, negotiations have been opened between the Chelsea hierarchy and Frank Lampard.
Club legend Lampard guided Derby County to the Championship playoff final this past season, where the Rams were eventually pipped to promotion to the Premier League by Aston Villa.
His debut campaign at Pride Park, though, could well prove to be his last, as Chelsea’s thinning options in their search for a new manager have led them to open concrete talks with Lampard:
— Goal News (@GoalNews) June 11, 2019
Kinsella’s report adds:
‘Ajax’s Erik ten Hag has also been considered for a role but he is cautious about signing on at Stamford Bridge due to the transfer ban that is currently in place.’