Chelsea have dallied over the future of Antonio Conte since their FA Cup final win but Maurizio Sarri has reportedly emerged as a leading contender to take over in the Stamford Bridge hotseat.
Former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has already agreed to take over at Napoli, where Sarri has managed since 2015 but the 59-year-old is still attached to the Italian club as well.
Nevertheless, Sarri could well be the man charged with overseeing improvement after last season’s paltry title defence that saw the Blues slip into the Europa League places.
But what would be the consequence of that move? We’ve taken a closer look at some of the things that could happen if Sarri pitches up at Stamford Bridge next season…
Roman Abramovich’s arrival at Chelsea has brought about an era of unprecedented success at Stamford Bridge but they have seldom played attacking football.
Ancelotti came closest in 2009-10, but with Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda, that team was driven by power as opposed to artistry.
Abramovich dreams of assembling a team that plays football which is the envy of Europe and that has not happened yet; Antonio Conte is a wonderful disciplinarian but Sarri would instantly add an attacking emphasis.
That should bring out the best in Eden Hazard, Pedro, Cesc Fabregas and co and could bring about the most attractive style seen in the Abramovich era.
Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool have taken their places in the top four with rampant attacking football and the arrival of Sarri could see Chelsea compete on a similar plane.
However, they have a more experienced squad than Spurs and the Reds – who both showed their propensity to get twitchy when the Blues put the pressure on in the race for the top four late last season.
Manchester United could also be heading for implosion under Jose Mourinho – nobody knows better than Chelsea how badly his third seasons in charge can turn out – so there should be an opportunity to breach the top four under Sarri.
Higuain’s current club Juventus reportedly want to engineer a return for Alvaro Morata and are willing to offer the Argentine to Chelsea in return.
The former Napoli striker worked under Sarri for one season in Naples, in which he broke the Serie A scoring record – with 36 – for goals in a season so it is clear that the duo work well together.
Morata was always Conte’s man and struggled to settle as the Italian fought battles elsewhere and failed to dedicate enough attention to helping him adapt to life in English football.
That’s why a move for Higuain makes sense as Chelsea search for the spearhead to engineer another crack at the title in the coming years.
Attempting to keep talisman Eden Hazard has been made more difficult by Chelsea’s fifth-placed finish which sees them line up in the Europa League next season but it is possible.
Real Madrid’s managerial situation is now up in the air, which may create uncertainty over their ability to sign Hazard this summer and there is a lack of plausible alternative destinations for the Belgian.
He also wants to see ambition and the appointment of an attacking manager, who could bring with him a proven goal-getter like Higuain to breathe new life into Chelsea’s attack, would be a good place to start.