Chelsea are reportedly interested in appointing Ajax boss Erik ten Hag as manager of the club for next season, according to Italian media outlet Tuttosport.
The Italian newspaper claims Juventus want Maurizio Sarri as their boss for next season and Chelsea want to replace Sarri with Ten Hag.
Ten Hag has won plaudits for guiding a free-flowing Ajax side into the Champions League semi-finals this season. They were minutes away from a place in the finals before Lucas Moura’s stoppage time winner for Spurs.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has always wanted the Blues to play an attractive brand of football and that is the reason the club appointed Sarri as manager last summer.
While Chelsea have played some good football at times this season, it hasn’t been consistent. Fans have called for Sarri to be sacked this season due to the team’s inconsistent performances and Sarri’s tactics.
Ten Hag worked with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich before returning to Holland in 2015 with Utrecht, securing a Europa League spot in 2017.
He is in his second season at Ajax and was under pressure at the start of the season as he trailed PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie title race.
Ajax are currently top of the league, have reached the Dutch Cup Final and lost out to Tottenham in the semifinal of the Champions League. Ajax reportedly want to hand him a new contract in a bid to keep him away from Chelsea.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has criticised Ajax boss Ten Hag for failing to step up to the mark when his team needed him most during the Dutch club’s stunning Champions League semi-final exit on Wednesday.
Ajax led 3-0 on aggregate at halftime but conceded three second half goals.
“I think, it hurts me a little bit to say this, I want to give 99 per cent credit to ten Hag, the beautiful work he did with this team. But I have to be critical in one per cent,” Mourinho told beIN Sports.
“I think in this second half, he has to play more.
“As a coach there are matches where we don’t play, there are matches where we play very bad, but there are matches where we play very well, and Ajax in that second half needed him to play very well.
“And I think he played like his team, not very well.”