Maurizio Sarri will ask
Chelsea to sign a number of
Napoli players if the Italian succeeds his fellow countryman
Antonio Conte as coach, writes Simon Johnson.
Conte is still in charge, but speculation in Italy persists that Sarri’s representatives have held talks with the west London club over a two-year deal.
Sources suggest that the 59-year-old’s agent, Alessandro Pellegrini, and intermediary, Fali Ramadani, met Chelsea officials for seven hours yesterday and more discussions will be held today. There has been no confirmation from the club that any talks took place.
Sarri has been replaced at Napoli by Carlo Ancelotti, but the Serie A club claim he remains under contract and a £7million release clause is still valid until the end of the month.
Sarri has held off accepting an offer from Zenit St Petersburg in the hope Chelsea will give him a job and he is already compiling a list of transfer targets from Napoli.
He wants right-back Elseid Hysaj, midfielder Piotr Zielinski and 32-year-old defender Raul Albiol to join him if he takes charge of the Blues. All three have release clauses worth £44m, £57m and £5.2m respectively. Sarri would also recommend that they move for defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who Chelsea failed to sign in 2016, while Napoli midfielder Jorginho, who is in talks with Manchester City, could prefer a switch to Chelsea.
Given how relations soured between Sarri and Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, Chelsea may find it hard to prise any of their assets away. Chelsea have already identified Leon Bailey, Richarlison and Jamaal Lascelles as transfer targets.
While there will be money to invest in new talent, Chelsea are determined to comply with Financial Fair Play rules. Their net spend over the last four years is £119m, which is less than Crystal Palace and Everton.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah has backed Sarri to be a big success should he move to the Premier League.
Chalobah, who joined Watford for £5m last summer, worked with Sarri for a year when he spent the 2015-16 season on loan at Napoli.
Even though he made just nine appearances for the first team, Chalobah has only positive things to say about Sarri.
Speaking to the Totally Italian Football Show, he said: “Playing under him was very easy as he puts out every single detail you need to know as a player.
“We’ve seen how Napoli play and it’s attractive football. He’s got the ability to drive his team and get the best out of the players. He’s a great guy.”
Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news-rumours-live-tottenham-linked-with-wilfried-zaha-after-mauricio-pochettino-signs-new-a3848051.html