Frank Lampard is the overwhelming favourite to take over as Chelsea manager after Maurizio Sarri’s much-anticipated move to Juventus was confirmed on Sunday.
The Blues’ record goalscorer, tipped for a return to Stamford Bridge with increasing force amid Sarri speculation in recent days, was rated at 25/1 on for the job overnight.
With former Chelsea bosses Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho, at around 9/1 and 16/1 respectively, being the next options, the 40-year-old appeared to be the only name in the frame.
Lampard, who scored 211 goals for the Londoners in a glittering spell from 2001 to 2014 that included three Premier League titles and a Champions League win, is currently manager at Championship Derby.
After just one year in the post, his experience is limited but he impressed by guiding the Rams to the play-off final and close to promotion last season.
It would be a bold appointment by the club and a big step for Lampard but it would be a hugely popular move with supporters.
Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin told Sky Sports News: “We know Frank is very intelligent and knows the game. He’s done OK so far at Derby but it’s much, much different at Chelsea because the expectations are much higher.
“I’d be stunned if he turned it down if it was offered. Big jobs don’t come around that often.
“Then again, actually it’s Chelsea – so it’ll probably come around very quickly!”
Sarri’s successor will be the 14th different manager employed at Chelsea since owner Roman Abramovich took over in 2003.
The 60-year-old Italian was in the position for just one year after succeeding countryman Antonio Conte last summer. He guided the team to Europa League success, third place in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup final.
But the former investment banker failed to win over all Chelsea fans, with frustration at his regimented tactics and an apparent reluctance to play homegrown talents Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Form was also inconsistent at times and, with Sarri hankering after a return to Italy, the club decided not to stand in his way when Juventus expressed interest. A compensation package understood to be in excess of £5million was agreed with the Serie A champions.
Nevin, however, felt it was a shame Sarri’s spell had ended.
He said: “It’s no surprise he’s gone but I’m very disappointed he’s gone. I could see what he was trying to do. I liked the way he was trying to build. It takes a while.”
In a statement confirming his departure, Chelsea added a message to congratulate Sarri “on securing the role as big as any in Serie A and to wish him the best of luck for the future”.
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Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to take over at Juventus.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a statistical look at Sarri’s one season at Stamford Bridge:
2 – finals contested by Chelsea last season, winning the Europa League but losing out to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
3 – they finished third in the Premier League, albeit 26 points behind champions City.
63 – games as Chelsea manager for Sarri in all competitions.
61.9 – his win ratio percentage, having won 39, drawn 13 and lost 11.
12 – Chelsea were unbeaten in Sarri’s first dozen Premier League games in charge, winning the first five.
112 – the Blues’ goal tally across all competitions last season, conceding 58.
5-0 – Sarri’s biggest win as Chelsea boss, against both Huddersfield in February and Dynamo Kiev in March.
6-0 – his heaviest defeat, to City at Etihad Stadium just eight days after the win over Huddersfield.
2 – he was the second successive Chelsea boss to win a trophy in his final game in charge – his predecessor Antonio Conte signed off by lifting the FA Cup.
8 – successive Serie A titles for Sarri’s new club Juventus.
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Maurizio Sarri has become the latest manager to leave Chelsea after he was named Juventus boss.
Sarri was the 13th managerial appointment made by owner Roman Abramovich since he took over the club in the summer of 2003, with Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink each having two spells.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at how those men have fared.
Claudio Ranieri – Sep 2000-May 2004
The Italian was at the helm when Abramovich arrived at Stamford Bridge. After heavy spending he led Chelsea to a second-placed finish in the Premier League and the Champions League semi-finals but faced persistent speculation about his job and was sacked at the end of the season.
Jose Mourinho – Jun 2004-Sep 2007
The Portuguese established himself as a Chelsea hero, winning back-to-back league titles in his first two seasons, one FA Cup and two League Cups. His departure only a month into his fourth season by ‘mutual consent’ was unexpected.
Avram Grant – Sep 2007-May 2008
A friend of Abramovich, Israeli Grant had been appointed technical director in the summer of 2007. He was controversially made manager after Mourinho’s departure and lasted only one season, which saw Chelsea finish second and lose in the Champions League final to Manchester United. He had the best win percentage of any of Abramovich’s managers.
Luiz Felipe Scolari – Jul 2008-Feb 2009
Brazilian Scolari was the first World Cup-winning coach to manage in the Premier League but a poor run of form saw him sacked before the end of his first season.
Guus Hiddink – Feb 2009-May 2009
Hiddink was appointed until the end of the season and combined his duties with his post as Russia manager. He lost only one match and won the FA Cup but could not be persuaded to stay.
Carlo Ancelotti – Jul 2009-May 2011
The Italian enjoyed a dream first season, leading Chelsea to a first ever league and FA Cup double, with his side becoming the first to score more than 100 Premier League goals in one campaign. He was sacked hours after finishing second in his second campaign.
Andre Villas-Boas – Jun 2011-Mar 2012
Hailed as the new Mourinho, Villas-Boas’ tenure at Stamford Bridge was not a happy one. After talk of a player revolt, he was sacked with Chelsea outside the Champions League places.
Roberto Di Matteo – Mar 2012-Nov 2012
The former Chelsea midfielder had been Villas-Boas’ assistant and was made interim manager until the end of the season. FA Cup and Champions League wins earned him a permanent contract but the following season did not go nearly as well and he was sacked.
Rafael Benitez – Nov 2012-May 2013
Benitez was the club’s latest interim manager, and unpopular with Chelsea fans because of his Liverpool past. The Spaniard won the Europa League and led the team to a third-place finish in the league.
Jose Mourinho – Jun 2013-Dec 2015
‘The Special One’ returned to win a third Premier League title in 2014-15 as well as the League Cup but, after signing a new contract, a dismal start to the following season saw him leave the club for a second time.
Guus Hiddink – Dec 2015-May 2016
Hiddink’s second caretaker spell could not match the impact of his first but he did manage to stabilise the club.
Antonio Conte – Jul 2016-Jul 2018
The Italian enjoyed a terrific debut season, with Chelsea dominating the Premier League and winning the title by seven points, but entered his second under a cloud after appearing to criticise the club’s transfer policy. The Blues finished fifth in the Premier League, missing out on a Champions League place, and even an FA Cup win could not save Conte.
Maurizio Sarri – Jul 2018-Jun 2019
The club won Sarri’s first five league games at the helm and were unbeaten in 12, but a relative dip early in the new year put their Champions League qualification in doubt and saw Sarri’s tactics questioned. They recovered to finish third, reached the League Cup final and won the Europa League but still find themselves seeking a new manager.
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