Chelsea still to make a decision on Sarri future
The hierarchy at Stamford Bridge are reluctant to make any decisions on potential transfers or contract renewals until a final call is made on Sarri and his future.
Despite finishing third in the Premier League and securing a place in the finals of both the Carabao Cup and the Europa League during his first campaign in charge, the former Napoli boss has divided the Chelsea fanbase. The Europa League clash with Arsenal on May 29 in Baku represents a final shot at silverware, but a number of supporters have been left disappointed by some of the performances and results from the club in recent months.
And while Eden Hazard’s departure for Real Madrid is being allowed to progress, other issues including negotiations over long-term contracts for the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and discussions regarding the club’s most valuable loan players, such as Kurt Zouma, remain on the back burner.
Chelsea’s potential transfer ban this summer will dictate many of the decisions that are made in regards to the market, but Sarri is yet to receive any assurances from the club’s director, Marina Graniskovaiai, that he will be the man in the dugout come August. One piece of business that is understood to be close to completion is Petr Cech’s return to the club as he prepares to retire from football.
It is understood the former Blues goalkeeper is likely to accept the offer of a responsibility to take on some of the duties of former sporting director Michael Emenalo, who departed Stamford Bridge in November 2017 due to a strained relationship with Graniskovaia.
Graniskovaia will retain overall power over transfers, but Cech will have a say in the club’s transfer business, bringing added football expertise to the decision making while also integrating himself within club operations. Cech would be just the latest in a series of returns for legendary players, with Gianfranco Zola, Joe Cole, Paulo Ferriera and Didier Drogba all having varied roles within the west London club.
The 36-year-old is widely regarded as being one of the Premier League’s greatest ever goalkeepers and has won 14 major honours, including being the hero in the penalty shootout where Chelsea won the Champions League against Bayern Munich in 2012. The Blues are taking a look into how they operate behind-the-scenes and believe they are in a period of transition having finished 25 points behind second-placed Liverpool in the Premier League table.
The club has also recently signed Cech’s son Damián to the lower age groups at Cobham Training Centre, with the Arsenal goalkeeper having already been seen down at the complex in Surrey watching youth games beyond those of his son’s age group. However, he has continued to make Arsenal his main focus and describes a London derby final as a perfect send-off for his glorious career, where he hopes to give one last parting gift to Gunners fans.
“Arsenal vs Chelsea will really be very emotional for me,” he told BBC Sport last week. “The ultimate dream would be to lift the trophy for the last time in the last game. Hopefully we can win the final and have the fairytale ending to my career – something that would be special.”