Antonio Conte has won the Premier League and FA Cup in his two years as Chelsea manager, but the Italian’s job is unsafe after a season that saw Chelsea miss out on a Champions League spot.
Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has long been tipped as the one to replace Conte, and rumours say the Italian’s reps are in London to hold talks with Stamford Bridge chiefs.
However, former Chelsea and Napoli star Samuele Dalla Bona has questioned whether Sarri will do a good job at Chelsea, and has insisted that the Italian might be a great manager but isn’t world-class because of his lack of trophies.
Dalla Bona has links with both Chelsea and Napoli. He played 73 times for Chelsea and then helped Napoli get promoted to Serie A as they were forced to climb the divisions after bankruptcy in 2004.
Speaking to Goal about Chelsea’s perceived choice in Sarri, Bona said: “[Sarri] played great football all of the time.
“[Napoli] had a good system but Juventus were able to play a worse style but still win every year.
“I think Sarri needs to make that last step to be a champion and a top coach. He is a great coach but he is not a world class-coach because he hasn’t won anything – that means he isn’t at the top.
“I like to see a good style of football but in the end, if you don’t win but play good football, it doesn’t mean a lot. Juventus don’t play good but win all the time. I knew when Conte was going to Chelsea. I was sure that Conte is a winner and, in fact, he has won two titles and proved it already: the league and FA Cup.”
Dalla Bona has doubts Sarri will succeed at Chelsea and has questioned whether the environment in London will be conducive to his success.
“If Sarri goes to Chelsea, he hasn’t won anything despite being a good manager. He needs to start winning something,” Dalla Bona said. “I don’t know if he will do it in Chelsea. It is a difficult club to go to right now, even under Roman Abramovich. I think it is difficult for Italians to adapt because you don’t speak the language perfectly.
“For Sarri, at around 60 years old going to London, a change of environment, he speaks a little bit of English but I don’t know if it will be an easy move for him.
“I am not sure about him, I know he is a good manager but I don’t know if he is a good fit for Chelsea. Probably they will ask him to not smoke at Stamford Bridge or Cobham too!
“I had the good fortune of adapting well from Italy to London. I preferred London and English football actually, so it can be done. However, I am not as sure about Sarri at Chelsea. I was more sure about Conte coming to Chelsea because every year he wins something. He had shown the whole world he is a winner already, Sarri hasn’t.”