Like a player saying he’s lost his love for the game, Maurizio Sarri may have put Chelsea in an untenable position with comments in the Italian edition of Vanity Fair.
The translation proffered by the BBC reads like something out of a wistful ending to a play on Broadway, or a letter between family members in the 19th century.
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“For us Italians the call of home is strong,” he said. “I feel that something is missing. It has been a heavy year. I begin to feel the weight of distant friends and elderly parents I rarely see. But at my age, I only make professional choices.”
Sarri has been linked with Juventus amongst other job openings in his home country, with a report claiming the hold-up is Chelsea changing its mind on letting Sarri out of his contract for no fee.
Or maybe Chelsea’s triumph in the Europa League, one of just three Premier League teams to win silverware in England, has changed the Blues’ outlook on the 60-year-old Italian.
It just feels like his words are signaling to Chelsea’s hierarchy that they need to let him walk. It’s incredibly difficult to imagine a man saying those things is even considering a third year if he’s forced to stay a second, and the transfer ban being in place asks some other questions about what would be expected in 2019-20.
That said, if you’re looking for a guy to piece meal results, week-by-week, into the Champions League, Sarri has shown he can do it without a roster which reflects his appetite. Might that be Chelsea’s bet? To keep him and aim for the Top Four?