Maurizio Sarri could leave Chelsea this summer, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Italian manager has endured a difficult first season at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea still unsure if they will be playing Champions League football next season.
The Blues are currently fourth, with 67 points, and can move level with third-placed Tottenham Hotspur if they beat Manchester United on Sunday but they could also slip out of the qualification spots if they lose and Arsenal beat Leicester City.
The race is a tight one but Chelsea have the potential fallback of the Europa League; they play Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final and could meet the Gunners in the final, with Unai Emery’s men facing Valencia in the other last-four encounter. Winning the competition would see them qualify for the Champions League.
The Telegraph claim that there will be a major restructuring of the club’s staff this summer regardless of results though, as they look to close the gap to top two Liverpool and Manchester City next season. Chelsea are 24 points behind the Reds.
Sarri is said to be open to the possibility of a return to Italy, where he had spent the entirety of his career prior to his move to Chelsea.
Potential replacements, the report states, are already being considered.
Derby County manager Frank Lampard, the former midfield player who became a legend at Stamford Bridge, has been considered but there are reservations as to whether he could make the jump from Championship football.
Laurent Blanc, the former Manchester United defender and ex-PSG boss, is said to be keen on the role but it is not clear if Chelsea are as interested in him as he is in them.
Sarri and Chelsea hasn’t been a happy marriage thus far but there is no point in pulling the plug this early.
The Blues have endured a difficult season characterised by fans calling for Sarri’s head and empty seats at Stamford Bridge.
But he is attempting to institute his own philosophy and is looking to mould Chelsea in his own image. He wants them to pass the ball well, dominate possession and cut teams open.
That takes time, and a parting of the ways this summer would only set Chelsea even further back; any other manager is also going to want to institute his own playing style and methodology.
Roman Abramovich is notoriously trigger-happy but, with a transfer ban looming, there is little to no point in squeezing it this summer.
The Russian would be better off placing his faith in the Italian. It can still work; just a little compromise is needed.