Chelsea have finally confirmed Maurizio Sarri as their new manager, a day after Antonio Conte was shown the door.
The appointment of the former Napoli boss had been expected since May, however the Blues had long stalled over a pay-off to his former club.
Jorginho has also made the move from Naples, with the midfielder quickly becoming the first signing of the Sarri era at Stanford Bridge.
Sarri worked wonders with Napoli
The 59-year-old had slowly worked his way up the coaching ladder in Italy, taking charge of 11 clubs before joining Napoli from FC Empoli in 2015. He proved a great success with Gli Azzurri, leading them to three top-two finishes with an attacking style of play.
The came coming agonisingly close to ending Juventus’s stranglehold on the Serie A title last season, falling just short in the final weeks, however relations between him and club president Aurelio De Laurentiis were strained, and he was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti soon after the end of the last campaign
That had appeared to open the door to a move to Chelsea, where Conte had become an increasingly-antagonistic presence as they failed to defend the Premier League title, finishing in a lowly fifth place. However with Sarri still under contract with Napoli, and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reluctant to spend in light of his visa issues, all parties had been left in limbo until Conte was finally relieved of his duties on Friday.
Sarri’s appointment was confirmed on Saturday morning, and he said that he is looking forward “to starting work and meeting the players.” In a club statement, he added that he hopes “we can provide some entertaining football for our fans, and that we will be competing for trophies at the end of the season.”
Midfielder Jorginho joins Blues after City move breaks down
The club wasted little time in also confirmed the capture of Jorginho, with the midfielder arriving for a fee reported to be around £57 million. He had looked set to join Manchester City, however has instead followed his manager to London, with the transfer fee considered as some compensation for Sarri as well.
The holding player appearing in 133 Serie A games for Napoli during a four-year spell, and has also been capped for Italy. He may provide competition in the side for N’golo Kante, although there are some suggestions that the Frenchman could be sold before the transfer window closes.
“I am absolutely ecstatic to be here at Chelsea,” he told the club’s website. “It is not easy to become part of such a big team,” he continued, adding that he is looking forward to playing “in such an intense league, for a team that gives everything to play and win.”
Director Marina Granovskaia added that the club were “delighted” that they have signed “One of the most coveted midfielders in Europe.” She believes that he has “demonstrated his quality working under Maurizio Sarri,” and that he will “help bring further success to Stamford Bridge.”
Quotes via Chelsea FC.