Blues’ in-demand World Cup superstars have kept a close eye on the situation as Antonio Conte faces the sack within 24 hours
CHELSEA reckon bringing in Maurizio Sarri as boss will keep their top stars at Stamford Bridge.
However, Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis said yesterday: “The Sarri deal is in the home stretch, it depends on him.
“I’ve laid down my conditions, it is all in the hands of lawyers.”
De Laurentiis claims part of Chelsea’s £57million fee for Napoli midfielder Jorginho includes a hefty slice of cash for taking manager Sarri — even though he was replaced by fellow Italian Carlo Ancelotti back in May.
Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard helped Belgium to the World Cup semi-finals and have now been linked with a switch from Chelsea to La Liga giants
Sarri is still employed by Napoli, so they want money to agree to let him go.
Chelsea’s top brass are convinced the change in manager will bring peace to a dressing room where senior players are unhappy with Conte’s abrasive personality.
Midfielder Hazard has two years left on his £200,000-a-week and keeper Courtois just 12 months to run.
Both Belgians have been sending out signals for months that they could be persuaded to leave Stamford Bridge.
Normally placid Brazil winger Willian took the unusual step of plastering over Conte’s image in an Instagram shot of the Chelsea squad celebrating their FA Cup final win in May.
His fellow countryman David Luiz also fell out with Conte last season.
Willian suffered World Cup disappointment as Brazil exited in the semi-finals but is still thought to be a prime target for Barcelona
Belgium superstar Eden Hazard has been eyeing the managerial situation at Chelsea with keen interest
Sarri, 59, is poised to sign a three-year contract worth around £17.7m and is viewed as more diplomatic in the way he handles the players. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and key aide Marina Granovskaia believe it will unify the club.
Conte has been in limbo for weeks but insisted he would not quit — so was forced to take pre-season training on Monday under the terms of his contract, which still has a year to run.
Chelsea normally carry on paying sacked managers until their contract expires or they get another job, so Conte could pocket in excess of £10m.
Thibaut Courtois is returning from Russia with Belgium after arguably being the best keeper of the World Cup