Arsenal could beat Chelsea to dream Antonio Conte replacement after agent hint

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Chelsea could be beaten by rivals Arsenal to the ‘dream’ appointment of Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri, according to top Italian football agent Federico Pastorello.

The Blues have been strongly linked with hiring former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique to replace the struggling Antonio Conte with a variety of top sources including the Telegraph.

However, the agent of Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola, Fulvio Marrucco, has claimed Sarri is the ‘dream’ candidate for the west London giants, with Zola also in line to return to Stamford Bridge in the role of sporting director.

‘Chelsea are among the clubs that would be in for Sarri,’ Marrucco is quoted in the Daily Mirror.

‘The news has put forward Zola as a sporting director, a role that is difficult to adopt in England. Sarri as coach would be Abramovich’s dream.’

Sarri is something of a late bloomer in football management but has become established as one of the most intriguing coaches in Europe at the moment after a fine campaign in Serie A.

The 59-year-old has remarkably taken Napoli to the top of Serie A this season, with the team currently a point ahead of reigning champions Juventus, who have won the title for the last six seasons in a row.

maurizio sarri napoli
Maurizio Sarri is being linked with Chelsea and Arsenal

Given that Napoli have only twice won the Italian top division, and the last time as far back as 1990, this would be some achievement by Sarri if he could pull it off.

Unsurprisingly that appears to be seeing him emerge as a contender for Chelsea, and also for Arsenal, according to another agent, Federico Pastorello.

‘People are mainly talking about Arsenal,’ Pastorello said on Sarri’s potential next club.

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