English Premiership

Sarri's Chelsea future in spotlight as Europa final looms

2019-05-26 13:46
Maurizio Sarri
Maurizio Sarri (AP)

London - Maurizio Sarri faces an uncertain future as Chelsea manager even if the much-maligned Italian leads his side to victory in the Europa League final against Arsenal.

Sarri has endured a traumatic first season at Stamford Bridge and he heads to Baku with little clarity over his prospects of staying in charge beyond Wednesday's final.

Despite guiding Chelsea into next season's Champions League, via a third-place finish in the Premier League, and reaching two cup finals, there remains a sense Sarri is on borrowed time whatever the result against Arsenal.

The 60-year-old has been linked with a move to Juventus or Roma, with reports saying Chelsea would not block his return to Serie A.

Even if Sarri does not join the Italian champions, he could still be sacked if Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and his coterie of advisors feel the former Napoli boss is not the man to guide them through a turbulent period.

With a damaging two-window transfer ban looming -- pending an appeal by Chelsea to the Court of Arbitration for Sport -- and star winger Eden Hazard set to get his wish to join Real Madrid, the next year promises to be a challenging spell for any manager, let alone one with the baggage Sarri has collected in his brief reign.

Sarri insists he is happy to stay, but admits there will be no talks over his future until after the final.

"I'm very happy to stay in the Premier League. I will speak to the club as I want to see if they are happy with me or not," he said.

"We had a good season, with a lot of problems of course. We lost two or three matches very badly.

"If we are able to win the final then it will become a wonderful season. This group deserves to continue and to try to improve more."

It is believed Chelsea's senior decision-makers, including director Marina Granovskaia, will gauge the feelings of players before making a final decision on Sarri.

There are concerns that his methods have caused so much unrest within the squad he may not be able to fully command their respect.

That problem was laid bare by Kepa Arrizabalaga's astonishing mutiny during the League Cup final when the Chelsea goalkeeper refused to be substituted after suffering cramp before the penalty shoot-out defeat against Manchester City.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  maurizio sarri  |  soccer


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