A deal to make Maurizio Sarri the new manager of Chelsea is close to completion, according to many sources. The Italian manager has left Napoli, and has been replaced by former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. This means the Blues are free to approach Sarri, who is also wanted by Zenit St Petersburg, as they look to replace Antonio Conte, who is set to depart after a disappointing season at Stamford Bridge. It’s understood that Chelsea will need to pay the release clause in order for Sarri to move, but Napoli could forgo the fee if they can have a player in return for a cut-price fee. David Luiz is reportedly one of the players wanted by the Italian side.
Ballack to Return
Michael Ballack could be set for a sensational return to Chelsea this summer – in form of the club’s new director of football. The Blues have been without someone in this role since the departure of Michael Emanalo, and the German is reportedly one of the names being considered. Former Chelsea player Juliano Belletti is also someone under consideration, as well as Lille sporting director Luis Campos. Ballack still attends Chelsea games regularly, and was involved in a Chelsea Legends game versus Inter Milan in support of Ray Wilkins.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has suggested he will only stay at Stamford Bridge this summer if he is guaranteed first-team football. The 22-year-old has had a brilliant season on loan at Crystal Palace, and earned his place in England’s squad for the upcoming World Cup. The Eagles are keen to keep Loftus-Cheek permanently, but the midfielder could stay at Chelsea if he’s given an opportunity.
“I didn’t play as much as I wanted because of the injuries, but I am excited for next season and just want to play a lot again.
“I’m not thinking about going on loan again too much right now. I’m trying to focus on this summer and what’s to come.”