Monday 14 October 2019

Chelsea agree deal with Juventus to release Maurizio Sarri as Frank Lampard is tipped to take over

Maurizio Sarri, centre, lifts the Europa League trophy after Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Arsenal in Baku (Adam Davy/PA)
Maurizio Sarri, centre, lifts the Europa League trophy after Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Arsenal in Baku (Adam Davy/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Chelsea have agreed a compensation package that will allow manager Maurizio Sarri to take over at Juventus, with Derby boss Frank Lampard expected to succeed him at Stamford Bridge.

After weeks of speculation and public comments from Sarri suggesting he was keen to take up the offer to join the Italian champions after claiming he was missing his Italian homeland, a deal reported to be in the region of £5m has been thrashed between the two clubs.

Sarri will now succeed Massimiliano Allegri in Turin, with the former Napoli boss charged with the task of ending the club's enduring wait for Champions League success.

He leaves behind a club in a state of flux following Chelsea's decision to sell star man Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, even though they are not able to replace him this summer due to a transfer embargo that has been imposed on the club.

It is a backdrop that will add to the challenge facing Sarri's successor and that man looks increasingly likely to be Chelsea legend Lampard, who is expected to leave his role as Derby boss to take over at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard would become Chelsea's first English manager since Glenn Hoddle left the club to take over as England manager in 1996, with club's former midfielder set to take over after just one season in management.

Even though he is just a year younger than Jose Mourinho was when he took over as Chelsea manager for the first time in 2004, there have been suggestions that his appointment so soon into his coaching career would be a gamble.

"Has Frank Lampard done enough to be manager of Chelsea? I’m not sure he has, but that club have a strange was or operating," said Virgin Media Sport analyst Kerr told last month.

"They usually go for someone who is a serial winner if you look back at the managers they have had in recent years. They haven't really gone for any experimental appointments, but now they are suggesting that Lampard has enough experience after one year as a manager at Derby. That would be a big risk for me.

"I'd also question whether this is a good time to take the Chelsea job. They have a transfer ban to negotiate this summer and an owner who isn't around too much and may not be engaged in the club as he once was. It will be a tough job for a guy who has had just one year as a manager."

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba offered up a different view of Lampard's possible return to the club, as he suggested he would succeed in his task.

"I think it is a very good option for the club," Drogba told "He has done well with Derby, you know, taking the team to the play-off final and I think it is a very good option for the club.

"Does he have to wait until he is 40 or 50 to be ready? I think it depends on your experience and depends on your desire to succeed and do it. If he feels ready I don’t think it is too early."

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