Chelsea will gauge the feelings of senior players ahead of making a final decision on Maurizio Sarri’s future as doubts persist over the Italian’s position.
Despite finishing third, and reaching the Europa League final, Sarri is not guaranteed to keep his job ahead of next season following a tumultuous season. And the Stamford Bridge club, it is understood, want to assess the harmony within the first team dressing before deciding whether to replace their manager.
Even though Chelsea’s results have improved significantly towards the latter weeks of the season, there are concerns that Sarri’s methods are causing consternation within the senior squad. Players have held doubts over Sarri’s tactical approach, while some members of the squad have found his sessions monotonous.
Sarri’s treatment of captain and loyal club servant Gary Cahill has also irked certain players. The former England international, who has won seven major trophies in eight season at Stamford Bridge, has been marginalised by Sarri this season.
Chelsea have judged the relationship between players and manager to help determine the future of previous bosses.
Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2015, then technical director Michael Emenalo citing a ‘palpable discord between manager and players’.
Chelsea officials are also aware of a disconnect between Sarri and large sections of the club’s supporters, who have been quick to turn on the Italian at various junctures this season. Lifting the Europa League in Baku on Wednesday could strengthen Sarri’s claim to remain Blues manager next season.
But, pointedly, Rafa Benitez was allowed to leave his role as Chelsea boss in 2013 despite finishing third and winning the Europa League. Whether or not Chelsea can successfully overturn a 12 month transfer ban is also likely to play a factor in Sarri’s future.
Legendary midfielder Frank Lampard is viewed as a future Blues manager. But any move for their former fans favourite is likely to hinge on the outcome of Derby’s Championship play-off final against Aston Villa next week.
Lampard has spoken of his ambition to manager Chelsea in the past, but whether he would consider walking away from Derby having just led them to Premier League promotion remains to be seen. Sarri has strong interest back in his homeland from Juventus and Roma. But publicly, Sarri insists he wants to stay in London.