Is the former Chelsea and Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri close to a return to the dugout?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 09 October 2020, 11:35

Maurizio Sarri may have enjoyed two of the most successful seasons of his managerial career, yet at the end of each campaign he left his respective posts at Chelsea and Juventus.

The first was by his own accord, the second wasn’t.

In the case of Chelsea, a departure had seemed inevitable for months. 

The Italian’s future was rarely out of the headlines during his one-year tenure at Stamford Bridge. His methods and tactics were constantly criticised, although he did at least leave with his head held high after lifting the Europa League trophy following an emphatic 4-1 victory over Unai Emery’s Arsenal - it was surprisingly the first piece of silverware of his managerial career. 

Earlier in the campaign only the agony of a penalty shoot-out defeat to Man City had prevented him from winning the Carabao Cup, while he’d go on to lead the Blues to 3rd spot; not a bad standing considering the dominance of Man City and Liverpool. 

It may come as a surprise to hear that his Chelsea win rate, 63.4%, tops that of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool (60.3%), and all but one permanent Blues boss - Antonio Conte (65.1%) - spanning the last 12 years, including current incumbent Frank Lampard (52.5%).

In the summer of 2019, Sarri returned to his homeland with Italian giants Juventus, where he replaced long-serving manager Max Allegri, who’d won just the five Scudettos and half-a-dozen domestic cups....

Despite steering Juventus to their ninth consecutive Serie A title - and becoming the oldest manager (61) to win the coveted trophy - Sarri was axed one season into his three-year contract.

The margin of Juventus’ title triumph - one point - combined with the club’s disappointing last-16 Champions League exit to Lyon and Sarri’s difficulty in implementing his football philosophy at the club, ultimately saw Juventus run out of patience after just one year.

Sarri’s ambitious vision of the game is a project that takes time, which is why he was perhaps a surprise appointment in the first place..

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Maurizio Sarri is eager to return to management

But while Sarri did suffer the sack at Juventus, the former banker remains contracted to the club, which means for the moment he’s unable to seek out a new job.

However, Tutto Mercato Web now reports that Sarri is negotiating a termination of the contract which would then allow him to return to the dugout, with recent speculation linking the former Chelsea boss with Serie A sides Roma and Fiorentina. 

One man who is in favour of a move to Fiorentina - who are managed by Beppe Iachini - is Sarri’s friend Aurelio Virgili.

“When I recently went to eat at Maurizio’s house, I didn’t see where he placed the Tricolor medal, but I gave him a personalised bottle dedicated to the triumph,” he said Tuttosport.

“I, like all Fiorentina fans, despite having the utmost respect for Beppe Iachini, have a dream: Maurizio in Florence. Seeing him win with Fiorentina would be the best.”

Virgili also revealed that Sarri is eager to resolve his contract saga as soon as possible as he’s targeting a Christmas comeback.

Meanwhile, the future of Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has been under the spotlight, leading to speculation that the club are lining-up either Sarri or Allegri for the position.

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