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Sarri returns to Italy as Chelsea boss takes over at Juventus

The Italian spent just one season at Stamford Bridge.

Sarri guided Chelsea to Europa League glory last month.
Sarri guided Chelsea to Europa League glory last month.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

MAURIZIO SARRI HAS left Chelsea to take over Juventus on a three-year contract, it has been confirmed.

Sarri had only completed one of the three seasons Chelsea contracted him for, but an agreement was reached to allow him to return to Serie A, where he led Napoli to a second-place finish in 2017-18.

The Italian coach’s position had been in doubt for several months due to a number of issues at Chelsea, and Frank Lampard has been tipped to replace him at the helm.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant.

“He also believed it important to be nearer his family, and for the wellbeing of his elderly parents he felt he needed to live closer to them at this point.

“Maurizio leaves Chelsea with thanks from us all for the work he and his assistants did during the season he spent as our head coach, and for winning the Europa League, guiding us to another cup final and a third-place finish in the Premier League.

“We would also like to congratulate him on securing the role as big as any in Serie A and to wish him the best of luck for the future.”

Although he departs after a commendable third-place finish in the Premier League and winning the Europa League, Sarri’s time in England was anything but smooth.

After an encouraging start domestically, Sarri’s style of play began to be criticised and there were suggestions it was not quick enough to thrive in England.

The signing of Jorginho, who followed the coach from Napoli, received particularly negative attention.

Maurizio Sarri file photo Sarri has quit Chelsea after one season. Source: Nigel French

A poor run of form towards the end of 2018 stretched into the New Year and saw Chelsea ship 10 goals without reply in successive away matches to Bournemouth and Manchester City.

That left Sarri’s job in doubt, while Kepa Arrizabalaga’s decision to defy the coach’s attempt to substitute him in the EFL Cup final defeat to City led to suggestions the Italian had lost the dressing room.

Sarri held on and managed to guide Chelsea to a third-place finish and Europa League glory, with reports prior to the game in Baku suggesting defeat would result in his sacking.

However, he has been allowed to leave in a move that could pave the way for fan favourite Lampard to return to Stamford Bridge following his first season in management.

Lampard’s strong links to Chelsea will not be his only advantage – he thrived under a tight budget at Derby County, using loans and young players, and that will likely stand him in good stead if the Blues’ transfer embargo stands.

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