Chelsea have agreed terms with Maurizio Sarri, but Italian reports suggest they don’t intend to pay Napoli the €8m release clause.
Sarri is still at his home in Figline, near Florence, as his entourage engaged in marathon talks with Chelsea over the last couple of days.
Sportitalia, La Gazzetta dello Sport and others all claim Sarri has won Roman Abramovich over and has agreed terms for a contract worth €6m per year.
However, it could be a very costly operation, as not only do the Premier League giants have to pay up to €20m to terminate current manager Antonio Conte’s contract, but also give Napoli €8m for the release clause.
That clause expires on May 31, so Chelsea must decide whether to dive in and pay or hold off and negotiate with Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis.
In theory, ADL should have no problem releasing Sarri, seeing as he has already appointed Carlo Ancelotti as his replacement from June 1 and would need to pay only €0.5m to terminate the deal.
Having said that, the breakdown of the rapport between De Laurentiis and Sarri in the final weeks could see the President stubbornly try to drag the situation out and get something from Chelsea.
As they go towards various deadlines, the Premier League side must hope Conte and De Laurentiis decide to be generous.
According to Il Messaggero newspaper, Chelsea are hoping to get a discount on the release clause and pay €4m.
It’s possible Sarri could even take a pay cut to €5m per year rather than €6m in order to even out the cost.
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