It took them another day, but Chelsea finally came out with the news on Saturday that Italian Maurizio Sarri will take over from Antonio Conte as their new manager.
Sarri was lured away from Serie A side Napoli, where he was in charge for three years.
Chelsea said in a statement on Saturday that the 59-year-old Sarri had “revitalised the fortunes of the club and returned them to the Champions League while playing a scintillating brand of expansive, attacking football.
“Along with the team’s improvement in results, Sarri’s reign in Naples will be remembered for the quality of Napoli’s play.
“The term ‘Sarri-ball’ was coined and he also earned praise for his ability to re-shape the structure of the squad, nurturing some of the club’s younger talents with hugely positive results.”
But what might be of concern to Chelsea fans is the fact that Sarri – who has signed a three-year deal at Stamford Bridge – didn’t win a title at Napoli, as they finished second twice in the league and third during his three seasons at the helm.
Conte was let go despite winning a Premier League title in his first season, and then the FA Cup last term.
“I am very happy to be coming to Chelsea and the Premier League. It is an exciting new period in my career,” Sarri said.
“I look forward to starting work and meeting the players on Monday ahead of travelling to Australia, where I will be able to get to know the squad and begin our match action.
“I hope we can provide some entertaining football for our fans, and that we will be competing for trophies at the end of the season, which is what this club deserves.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “We are delighted to welcome Maurizio and are looking forward to him bringing his football philosophy to Chelsea.
“Maurizio’s Napoli side played some of the most exciting football in Europe, impressing with their attacking approach and dynamism, and his coaching methods significantly improved the players at his disposal.
“He has plenty of experience in Serie A and the Champions League, and we know he is relishing the chance to work in the Premier League.”@ashfakmohamed