Chelsea are reportedly looking towards Watford manager Javi Gracia to replace Maurizio Sarri, if the Italian calls it quits at the Premier League club.

According to a report by ESPN, Chelsea seem to have shortlisted another candidate to take over from Maurizio Sarri, should he end up departing from Stamford Bridge. Watford manager Javi Gracia is the latest name to be considered by the Blues to become the first-team boss.

With every passing day, the situation surrounding Maurizio Sarri seems to be getting murkier. A season that ended with Chelsea finishing third in the Premier League. That, a cup final and the UEFA Europa League triumph has to be seen as a success, all things considered.

But, the Italian finds his future at Stamford Bridge being up in the air for various reasons. Sarri did not exactly endear himself with his squad or the Chelsea fans, which saw Roman Abramovich consider sacking him. The latest claims though, suggest he could be on his way on his own accord, having reportedly agreed personal terms to become the new Juventus manager.

With Sarri’s Chelsea future being highly uncertain, a number of managers have been linked with what could soon be the vacant Chelsea job. Massimiliano Allegri, who could be replaced by Sarri at Juventus, has been linked with the West Londoners in recent weeks.

But, after two topsy turvy campaigns under two Italian managers, Chelsea are reluctant to appoint another coach from the country. The Premier League heavyweights have thus, turned their attention towards Javi Gracia, who has emerged as a surprise option.

The Spaniard has been nothing short of marvelous since joining Watford about 18 months ago. Since then, he has arguably been one of the best managers in the Premier League, having guided Watford to the FA Cup final this past season while also narrowly missing out on a top ten finish in the Premier League.

Set to succeed Sarri? (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Set to succeed Sarri? (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The manager’s style of play, which lays focus on methodical, yet free flowing attack could find fans at Chelsea. That he has also brought the best out of some of the inconsistent players at the club is also an appealing trait of the Spaniard’s.

Gracia could thus, be the ideal candidate to take over from Sarri, should the Italian call it quits at the Bridge. The Watford manager though, has Chelsea legend Frank Lampard to contend with, with the Derby County boss seen as the favourite to be the next boss at the West London clubs, despite being unable to guide the Rams to Premier League promotion.

Gracia, however, is an interesting option to consider for Chelsea as well, seeing as he has proven himself in the Premier League too. His appointment though, rests on Sarri’s future and it remains to be seen if the Italian remains at Stamford Bridge beyond the summer.

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