Chelsea next manager: Sarri out, Lampard or Santo in at the Bridge?
Blues have a two-man shortlist to replace Italian boss Sarri
Chelsea have drawn up a two-man shortlist to replace Maurizio Sarri as the sands of time run down on the beleaguered Blues boss.
The under-fire Italian is expected to be sacked by the end of this month after overseeing a disastrous slump in form that has left Chelsea struggling to qualify for next season’s Uefa Champions League.
After 30 matches Chelsea are in sixth place in the Premier League table, three points behind Arsenal who hold the fourth Champions League qualifying spot.
Nuno or Frankie?
The Sun says that the London club “are considering Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo or ex-favourite Frank Lampard” to replace Sarri.
Up until the start of last week, says the paper, the Blues had been bullish about their chances of luring Zinedine Zidane to Stamford Bridge. But his decision to sign on for another stint with Real Madrid scuppered that plan, and now they have turned their attention to Santo and Lampard.
What’s for certain is that Sarri is for the chop, with Roman Abramovich reluctantly concluding that “the Italian is not a natural fit for the club”.
Lack of experience?
The fans’ favourite would be 40-year-old Lampard, who achieved legendary status during his time as a Chelsea player, but the worry within the Blues’ hierarchy is his lack of experience as a manager.
Lampard is in his first season at Championship side Derby County and while he has made an impressive start to his managerial career, the pressure at a place like the Bridge is in another league.
That’s why, says the Sun, the 45-year-old Santo “has been gaining growing support within the Blues board” after leading Wolves up to seventh place in their first season back in the top flight as well as guiding them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
The Daily Mirror echoes the Sun’s story, adding that Abramovich has also been courting Juventus boss Max Allegri but he “has moved to distance himself from the job”.
The paper adds that Santo is the frontrunner and it was his exposure of Chelsea’s “deficiencies under Sarri” with an excellent away performance that propelled him to the top of the shortlist.
Sarri to Roma?
Even if Maurizio Sarri leaves Stamford Bridge he could find himself back in employment pretty quickly. According to the London Evening Standard Sarri is wanted by Serie A side AS Roma to become their next manager.