Chelsea’s hopes of replacing Antonio Conte with Maurizio Sarri boosted after Napoli boss ‘snubs contract talks’

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Talk of Maurizio Sarri replacing Antonio Conte at Chelsea intensified on Wednesday with the Napoli boss set to dismiss contract talks for the time being.

The Blues manager is under pressure to save his job after suffering a 4-1 defeat to Watford on Monday.

Sarri has overseen an incredible job at the San Paolo and currently leads Serie A by a point over champions Juventus, with the champions and Real Madrid linked in recent weeks.

Not only may the Blues view Sarri’s slick, expansive style of play as attractive, but the buyout clause, set at just £7.1m, would make negotiations straight forward.

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis is keen to renew terms with Sarri, with Gazzetta claiming a three-year, €4m (£3.5m) per year deal is on the table.

Crucially, if signed, it would remove the buyout clause, though the report adds that Sarri is in no hurry to extend – instead preferring to concentrate on the scudetto race that may see Napoli win their first title in 28 years.

The pivotal clash with the Old Lady on April 22 may decide the destination of the title, with this year seen as the best chance yet to snap the six-year stranglehold the Bianconeri have had on the title.


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