Chelsea have announced that manager Maurizio Sarri has joined Juventus on a three-year contract.
The Italian succeeds Massimiliano Allegri after informing Chelsea, who will get £5m in compensation, of his desire to return to his native country following their triumph in the Europa League.
Sarri’s departure is set to pave the way for Frank Lampard to return to Stamford Bridge as boss, with Chelsea expected to approach his current club Derby, who have been trying to offer him a new deal.
Chelsea director, Marina Granovskaia has suggested the club could not stand in the way of Sarri’s “strong desire” to return to Italy and be closer to his elderly parents.
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“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,” she said.
“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 leaves Chelsea after just one season in which they finished third in the Premier League – restoring the club’s place in the Champions League – and secured the 60-year-old’s first major trophy as a manager.
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This is despite Blues fans expressing their discontent at his ‘Sarri-ball’ tactics and team selections, notably during the 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup in February.