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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has endured a mixed first season at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues currently fifth in the league and battling to finish in the top four.

According to Paul Merson, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could replace Maurizio Sarri with Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe next season.

Merson believes Howe sets up his team to play expansive football and that is what Abramovich wants at Chelsea.

Merson told Sky Sports: “If Roman Abramovich is still there next year and he hasn’t sold the club, Eddie Howe could be the next manager of Chelsea.”

Asked whether Howe would be a good appointment by Chelsea, Merson added: “I think he’s great.

“He plays an expansive game of football. Chelsea fans want to see action and I know the owner doesn’t go as much now but he also wants to see action.

“Sarri was brought in to play the Napoli way. Score lots of goals and play gung-ho football.

“It was never going to happen but Howe plays that way. He opens the game up a lot better than Chelsea do.”

Meanwhile, Merson is predicting an all-English Europa League final.

“I think Arsenal probably play Chelsea in the final. I think we could have two all-English finals,” Merson said on Sky Sports.

“All about injuries, fitness and confidence (in the final). It all depends on that day. It’s only confidence, not the ability of the players.”

Sarri, who is yet to win a title in his career, is keen on lifting the Europa League. After losing the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City, Sarri insists he wants to win the Europa League.

The Chelsea boss said: “This time I don’t want to play the final; I want to win the final.

“To win the competition it’ll be very difficult. Eintracht are a great team with a wonderful striker in Luka Jovic.”

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