Chelsea are reportedly considering the possibility of sacking manager Maurizio Sarri over the international break, as form continues to flounder.
According to a report from Daily Express, Chelsea could use the ongoing international break to sack manager Maurizio Sarri, as their hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League hang by a thread.
Sarri was brought in by Chelsea as a replacement for compatriot Antonio Conte. The Blues had to shell out £4.4 million to Napoli in order to acquire Sarri’s services, while they also had to pay a £9 million compensation to their former manager.
Initially it seemed like the investment was going to pay off for Chelsea as Sarri made a brilliant start to life with the Blues. But, things have been on the downslide for the West London outfit since the turn of the year, leading to an enormous amount of pressure on the Italian tactician.
Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season by virtue of a top four finish in the Premier League are fading fast, following their 2-0 defeat to Everton this past weekend. A campaign with no silverware looms large at Stamford Bridge, unless they go on to win the UEFA Europa League, which would also earn them a passage to the Champions League.
The Chelsea players have been unable to adapt to Sarri’s philosophy, which has led to an over-reliance on star man Eden Hazard to keep them pulling out of trouble. Goals have been a concern for the Blues, which Sarri hoped to address by signing Gonzalo Higuain in January, having shipped out Alvaro Morata to Atletico Madrid, but the move hasn’t worked out as per plans.
Sarri has admitted that he hasn’t been able to motivate his players adequately enough and following the loss to Everton, he once again found it hard to explain his team’s struggles. “I don’t know and the players don’t know what happened in the second half,” he said.
“The problem was mental on the pitch, so the system and the tactics are not important. It wasn’t about motivation because we started very well. We have to play eight matches now and we have to fight for our possibilities.”
With the pressure mounting on him with every passing game, the report claims that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could decide to pull the trigger during the ongoing international break and bring in a new manager, in order to get things back on track at the earliest possible.
Wolves manager Nuno Esprito Santo has been linked with the managerial job recently. The report mentions former PSG boss Laurent Blanc as another potential candidate, along with Sarri’s assistant Gianfranco Zola, as well as former Chelsea coach Steve Holland, who is currently the assistant manager of the England national team.
However, with Chelsea having been hit with a two-window transfer ban, it complicates matters further as any new manager who would come in, might not be able to build a team in his own image for the next term. Abramovich is known for his trigger-happy nature, but it remains to be seen if he decides to axe Sarri or sticks with the Italian till the end of the season.