Blues head coach Maurizio Sarri has revealed he only found out about his departure from Napoli after switching on the television.
Before taking over at Chelsea this summer, Sarri spent three seasons at the Partenopei where he developed the club into one of the most watchable sides in Europe as well as turning them into the strongest challengers to Juventus’ stranglehold on the Scudetto.
Yet even as the 59-year-old mustered a runners-up finish for Napoli in 2017-2018, setting the Serie A record for the most points in a second place finish with 91, his future at the club came under scrutiny following links to the managerial position at Stamford Bridge, where Antonio Conte then had a similar situation regarding his head coaching job.
While Sarri was taken off from his position, he still had two years remaining in his Napoli contract, leaving him in limbo as far as his future plans are concerned. When the club appointed Carlo Ancelotti as his successor, he was finally allowed by the Partenopei to complete a deal at Chelsea.
Yet the 59-year-old has now revealed he only knew of his removal from his head coaching role upon watching the television. “I found out of Ancelotti’s appointment at Napoli from the tv while I was at dinner with one of Giuntoli’s [Napoli’s sporting director] staff members,” said the Neapolitan. “We were discussing my future, if I stayed or not. I don’t know why I am not at Napoli anymore, ask the club. Now I am at Chelsea and I’m happy about it.”
“The release clause in my contract with Napoli expired on May 31st, but De Laurentiis appointed Ancelotti on the 21st. I hope Ancelotti can succeed where I failed, the city and the supporters deserve to win the Scudetto.”
Sarri has had an encouraging start in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, leading Chelsea to four straight victories that sees them joint-top of the league standings. Reflecting on his new surroundings in the Premier League, the Italian said the English top flight has a “festive” vibe compared with Serie A. “Here [football] is totally different, it’s a celebration. It’s great to see supporters of opponent teams meet to have a beer together before the game.”
The 59-year-old then mentioned he wants to return to his native Napoli and end his career their one day but that that would be before he stays at the Chelsea helm for a long time. “Finishing my career at Napoli could be a goal of mine, but first I want to stay here at Chelsea, a fantastic club, for a very long time. Everything it’s amazing here, there’s nothing I don’t like about it. Being the coach of this team is like a dream”.