Chelsea will demand their new manager secures Champions League football even if the club’s transfer ban remains in place.
Chelsea’s search for Maurizio Sarri’s successor is well underway with the club expecting the Italian to be named as Juventus’ new manager in the next 48 hours.
Frank Lampard, ex Juventus coach Max Allegri, England No.2 Steve Holland, Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, Wolvesboss Nuno Espirito Santo and Watford coach Javi Gracia are all contenders.
Chelsea have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against their two-window Fifa ban for irregularities in the signing of young players – but have not yet asked for the ban to be frozen while they appeal – which means that as of now they will not be able to sign players this summer.
Sarri delivered Champions League football with a third placed Premier League finish in the campaign just ended, as well as winning the Europa League.
But with Champions League football worth potentially around £70 million to a club each season, Chelsea cannot afford for the next campaign to be a flop and to drop out of the Champions League again with Financial Fair Play regulations so tight.
The club missed out in 2016-17, and again last season, and only reached the round of 16 in 2017-18 so have missed out on the big prize money for some time now. So a top four place is vital next season. That pressure means that the new manager, whoever he is, will not get a honeymoon period – even though he might be forced to play youngsters. That could count against Lampard, who has had only one year’s managerial experience, at Derby.
Meanwhile Sarri has already begun to put together the backroom team to help him at Juventus, where he has agreed a three year deal.
Joining him will be fitness coach Paolo Bertelli, and his assistant coaches are expected to be either Giovanni Martusciello, currently technical collaborator at Inter Milan who worked with Sarri at Empoli, or his current Chelsea assistant coach Luca Gotti.
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