Maurizio Sarri swaps Chelsea for Juventus as clubs confirm move

Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to join Juventus as manager, the west London club have confirmed.

The former Napoli coach returns to Serie A after a turbulent season with Chelsea, where he frustrated fans despite winning the Europa League and finishing third.

The clubs were rumoured to have agreed a compensation package of £5million last week, with Sarri just one year into his deal.

And after weeks of speculation, the move to replace Massimiliano Allegri in Turin was finally confirmed on Sunday.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia told the club’s website: “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 well-being 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.”

Sarri, now 60, picked up his first trophy in management as Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final in Baku.

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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - MAY 28: Maurizio Sarri the head coach / manager of Chelsea during the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Maurizio Sarri, the head coach of Chelsea. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri shouts for Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to leave the pitch  Chelsea v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Final - Wembley Stadium 24-02-2019 . (Photo by  John Walton/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri shouts for Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa to leave the pitch. (Photo by John Walton/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Italian generated a great reputation during his time at Napoli, where he had the underdogs challenging for a Serie A title against giants Juventus.

But his time in west London was dogged by fans’ fury at team selection and fallouts - in particular his persistence in using Jorginho.

The Brazilian-born Italy international failed to impress at Stamford Bridge - while being played in his favoured position meant pushing two-time Premier League winner N’Golo Kante out of his.

Sarri appeared to be working on borrowed time at Chelsea when he attempted to substitute goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga - signed for a world-record fee last summer - moments before a Carabao Cup final penalty shootout, only for Kepa to publicly refuse.

Chelsea subsequently lost that final, but a remarkable end of the season saw them finish third and confirm their place in next season’s Champions League.

And Juve, who have just won the domestic top flight for an eighth consecutive season, were impressed enough to lure him to Turin.

The Premier League club are now managerless, facing a two-window transfer ban and have also just lost star man Eden Hazard to Real Madrid for a reported £130m.

Blues legend Frank Lampard - after just one season with Derby County - appears set to replace Sarri at the helm, though, despite reservations over his experience in the role.

Lampard will almost certainly have the initial support of the fans, but whether he can rebuild a broken Chelsea and continue the flow of semi-frequent trophies would remain to be seen.

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