Chelsea linked Maurizio Sarri is replaced by Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 23 May 2018, 19:29

Maurizio Sarri is now the odds-on favourite to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea after Napoli opted to replace him with Carlo Ancelotti.

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Ancelotti, who was previously linked with the Italy national team, has signed a three-year deal at the Naples club, as he returns to management for the first time since leaving Bayern Munich last September.

In a club statement Napoli said:

"Napoli are happy to announce the definition of an agreement with coach Carlo Ancelotti to lead the first team for the next three seasons and therefore starting from 2018/19.”

While Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis tweeted:

"I thank Maurizio Sarri for his precious dedication to football Napoli that has allowed to give to the city and the Blue fans worldwide prestige and emotions, creating a model of play admired everywhere and by anyone. Bravo Maurizio."

The highly successful Ancelotti is the the only manager in history to have won a top-flight title in four of the top five European leagues: Italy, England, France and Germany, with Spain the only exception.

The 58-year-old has previously had spells in his homeland with AC Milan, Juventus, Parma and Reggiana, winning Serie A, a couple of domestic cups and European honours, including two Champions League triumphs with Milan.

He'll now be bidding to end Juventus' stunning seven year reign as champions.

(Above is a tweet of Napoli's play under Sarri)

The now former Napoli boss Sarri came agonisingly close to toppling Max Allegri's side, but in the end had to settle for second spot last term, which was his third top-3 finish in three seasons with the club.

Top-5 Managers of the Serie A Season

The 59-year-old will now no doubt have his sights set on the Chelsea job should, as expected, Conte leave Stamford Bridge this summer.

Conte led the Blues to Premier League glory in his first season in charge, followed by an FA Cup triumph last weekend, however he now seems certain to leave South West London.

If so, the path would open up for Sarri, although he'll face competition from the former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, while Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic was propelled into the top echelons of the betting market earlier this week.

What Maurizio Sarri would bring to Chelsea

However, should Sarri miss out on the Chelsea job, there's a reported offer on the table from Zenit St Petersburg, who were previously managed by the now Italy national team manager Roberto Mancini.

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