5 managers who could replace Maurizio Sarri if he leaves Chelsea
The Blues started the season in fine form and were unbeaten in their opening 12 league games of the season. Things quickly turned though, and a series of poor results over the winter months, coupled with what the fans saw as a conservative style of football, meant that the pressure grew on Sarri.
There were a number of occasions where it seemed possible that he would lose his job mid-season, particularly after the 6-0 defeat away at Manchester City, and loss to the same opposition in the Carabao Cup Final, though this time down to a very public fallout with Kepa Arrizabalaga.
However, results picked up in the final weeks of the season, and Chelsea finished third behind only Manchester City and Liverpool. They also won the Europa League, beating Arsenal 4-1 in the final, securing Sarri’s first major trophy.
It may not be enough for Sarri however, who looks set to return to Italy to take the Juventus job, replacing Massimiliano Allegri. There will be mixed views on this, as there was a lot of debate over the style of play employed by Sarri, but having qualified for the Champions League, won the Europa League, and reached another cup final, he did bring success to the club.
Thoughts will now turn to Sarri’s replacement, and it is certainly a key appointment for Chelsea. They still have a transfer ban in place for the summer, so whoever comes in will have to make do with what he has at Stamford Bridge. Here are five men who could replace Sarri this summer.
#1 Jose Mourinho
It may seem very unlikely, but there is a chance that Mourinho could return for his third spell in charge of Chelsea. The self-proclaimed Special One first joined Chelsea from Porto in 2004, and he was at the helm as Chelsea began to establish themselves as one of the powers of English football. He won two Premier League titles during his first period in charge and won his third in 2015, two years after returning to the club.
Mourinho’s stock has fallen over the last couple of years, in particular after he was sacked by Manchester United in December. It would be a real shock to see him return to Chelsea, especially after the way his relationship with the senior figures at the club deteriorated in his final weeks at Stamford Bridge in December 2015.
He is also someone who hasn’t been known to bring through young players, and with their transfer ban in place, he probably isn’t the man to do that.