Wednesday 23 January 2019

Chelsea lining up two managers to replace Antonio Conte at the end of the season

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte

Miguel Delaney

Napoli's Maurizio Sarri and former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique are currently the leading candidates to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea, but any change is still not expected to occur until the summer.

There is now widespread expectation there will be a mutually-agreed parting of the ways at the end of the season and, even though that has been threatened by recent results, it is a solution that both parties would prefer.

Chelsea want to give Conte the chance to try figure the situation out, and also don't want another costly pay-off, but there is also the issue of the best possible replacement. The hierarchy want to wait until the clean slate of the end of the season, when they can also make a clearer decision on the next man, but have naturally been considering options.

Chelsea are understood to favour a less abrasive figure and one less interested in transfers, after the forces of personality that were Jose Mourinho and now Conte. The available Luis Enrique has long been seen as an option, but he did prove quite confrontational at Barcelona. Camp Nou legend Xavi had to intermediate a problem between the manager and some players in the 2014-15 campaign, although it did end with the club claiming a treble.

Sarri could thereby prove a better option in that regard, since he is a manager who actually does not believe in the transfer window, and hates how it distracts from coaching. It is also understood he has been seeking to improve his English in the last few months, having previously been unable to speak the language.

The one issue with Sarri is that he is attempting to see through what would be a historic title win for Napoli, and their first since 1990, as they lie one point ahead of repeat champions Juventus in Serie A.

Both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are also looking at the 59-year-old.

Independent News Service

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport