Neymar appears to be on thin ice at Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi warned he will not tolerate any "celebrity behaviour" from players.

And the Brazil star could be set to pay the price for his lavish ways in the French capital.

 

TOP STORY – PSG PREPARED TO PART WITH NEYMAR

If you can stump up €222million or more, Neymar could be yours.

According to L'Equipe, Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are willing to sell their world-record signing.

Neymar – who is recovering from an ankle injury that forced him out of Brazil's Copa America campaign – arrived from Barcelona for a world-record fee in 2017.

And the 27-year-old continues to be linked with a return to LaLiga with former club Barcelona or their great rivals Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Standard says Paul Pogba has been told he will not be sold by Manchester United, despite the Frenchman publicly stating his desire to seek a challenge elsewhere. Pogba has been linked to Real Madrid and a return to Juventus.

- Juventus have not given up on signing in-demand Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, according to Tuttosport. PSG are believed to be favourites but Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved is set to meet with agent Mino Raiola.

- Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal reportedly has an offer from the Chinese Super League, according to soccerlink.fr. The arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax could spell the end of the Chilean's career at Camp Nou.

- L'Equipe says Arsenal have moved closer to signing 18-year-old Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba. The Teenager has reportedly agreed a five-year contract in London.

- Ligue 1 side Lyon have opened talks to sign Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, according to L'Equipe. The Brazil international full-back's contract expires at the end of June and he has been linked to Barcelona.

- With Maurizio Sarri confirmed as Juventus head coach, the Italian champions are set to target Inter outcast Mauro Icardi and Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Paul Pogba finally confirmed his desire to leave Manchester United for a "new challenge" on Sunday, a revelation that will likely split the club's supporters.

While few would doubt Pogba's ability, the last three seasons since his return from Juventus have been anything but smooth.

Pogba has struggled for consistency in a United team that has so often been crying out for his creativity, while the soap opera around his turbulent relationship with Jose Mourinho before the Portuguese manager's December sacking became a distracting sideshow.

Although Pogba's form did initially improve after Mourinho left, the dominant performances soon dried up again – a haul of 13 goals (seven from the spot) and nine assists in the Premier League exaggerating his influence.

Sunday's comments about desiring a move will not have surprised many given the speculation surrounding him, but offloading Pogba might prove a blessing in disguise for a United side in need of a rebuild. We have identified some potential replacements.

 

Sean Longstaff - Newcastle United

Magpies midfielder Longstaff has only made nine Premier League appearances, but he impressed to such a degree he is being linked with a £25million move to United. Poised in possession with a maturity that belies his 21 years, Longstaff looks to have a very bright future but it would be asking a lot of him to replace one of the best midfielders in the world.

Tanguy Ndombele - Lyon

Ndombele is reportedly a target for Tottenham, who he has described as "a great team, a great club", though he could be a good fit at Old Trafford too. The France midfielder impressed in the Champions League last term but Lyon's outspoken president Jean-Michel Aulas is known among the hardest negotiators in the game. The Ligue 1 side are said to be demanding £70m for the 22-year-old.

Bruno Fernandes - Sporting CP

Nations League winner Fernandes is expected to leave Sporting this year, but United would surely face a battle for his signature, as Manchester City, Inter, Tottenham, Liverpool and Juventus are all said to be keen. Fernandes hit 20 league goals for Sporting, who missed out on Champions League qualification and will likely have to cash in on the versatile 24-year-old as a result. He is reportedly valued at £70m. 

Youri Tielemans - Monaco

Tielemans impressed on loan at Leicester City last term and, although the Foxes may wish to do a deal with Monaco to sign him permanently, they could be blown out of the water by offers from richer sides. Tielemans, said to be valued at £40m by the Ligue 1 club, has been linked with United, but speculation has also suggested they have moved on to other targets.

Adrien Rabiot - PSG

A risk-reward signing if ever there was one, Rabiot is available on a free transfer as his contract is expiring this year at Paris Saint-Germain. But the 24-year-old has a reputation as a difficult character, having been shunted aside at PSG over a contract dispute, while he rejected the invitation to be on the standby list for Didier Deschamps' France squad at the 2018 World Cup. The undoubtedly talented Rabiot is said to be in huge demand, with Juventus rumoured to be interested in a player Gianluigi Buffon has described as a combination of Pogba, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio.

Giovani Lo Celso - Real Betis 

Versatility makes Giovani Lo Celso an appealing option, with the Argentina midfielder able to operate in front of defence or in a more attacking role. He scored nine LaLiga goals for Real Betis last season and the club can expect to make a significant profit on a player they signed from PSG for €25m only two months ago. Should Lo Celso impress at the Copa America, demand in a player linked with Tottenham could increase.

Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea for Juventus after just one year in the Premier League and it is fair to say it was a turbulent spell.

With the fiery Italian in charge, things were never likely to be dull at Chelsea in the 2018-19 season.

Sarri will undoubtedly consider himself to have been a success given what he achieved and the constraints he was under in the transfer market, but there are plenty of fans who will not be upset to see the back of him.

As Sarri prepares to return to Italy, we look at the triumphant highs and disappointing lows of his solitary season in English football.

HIGHS

Europa League success

Given the infamy of the Europa League final in Baku from a logistical perspective, Chelsea's performance and emphatic 4-1 win over Arsenal were effectively a sideshow. But, if one ignores the ticketing farce, location and security concerns preventing Henrikh Mkhitaryan playing, Sarri came out of it very well by masterminding a fine display to win his first major trophy as a coach.

Top-three Premier League finish

Sarri inherited a squad with plenty of issues. Several players were approaching 30 or already there, the midfield options were lacking and his main striker was enduring a difficult run. Chelsea's recruitment in the last couple of years has left a lot of be desired, yet Sarri still managed to ensure the Blues secured a respectable third-place finish and Champions League qualification.

Ending City's unbeaten start

Manchester City did not lose any of their first 15 Premier League games in 2018-19, form that sparked talk of Pep Guardiola's team going the entire season unbeaten. Chelsea ended such suggestions in December, beating City 2-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to goals from N'Golo Kante and David Luiz, evidence that Sarri had the Blues mixing it with the best of them at times.

 

LOWS

Crushed by City

Things started to get ugly for Chelsea and Sarri after the turn of the year. He looked to be heading for the exit at the start of February when Chelsea were demolished 6-0 away to City. Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan and a Sergio Aguero brace had the hosts 4-0 up after 25 minutes and a recovery never arrived. It was third successive away league defeat, following a similarly embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth and a 2-0 loss at Arsenal.

"F*** Sarri-ball"

With the Blues having suffered those heavy defeats not long before, they lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United in the FA Cup on February 18. The much-lauded style of play brought to the club by Sarri became the target, as fans chanted "F*** Sarri-ball" during the match. It was surely a sign that the 60-year-old's days were numbered.

Kepa challenges authority

Chelsea's run to the EFL Cup final arguably helped keep Sarri in the job and their performance against City was certainly more spirited than the drubbing they received from them just two weeks earlier. However, the match was marred by Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be substituted in extra time after appearing to sustain an injury. Sarri played it down after losing on penalties, stating it all came from his misunderstanding of the situation. However, it became the focus at Chelsea for several weeks, particularly given the coach's initial explosive reaction on the touchline.

Maurizio Sarri's spell as Chelsea boss is officially over after just 11 months in charge as it was confirmed on Sunday he is returning to Serie A with Juventus.

The former Napoli boss lifted the Europa League and finished third in the Premier League during his only season at Stamford Bridge, while also only missing out on EFL Cup glory in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester City in the final.

But Sarri never truly won over Chelsea supporters with his style of play and a new man - likely to be Blues legend Frank Lampard - will now take over ahead of the new season.

Lampard has just one year of managerial experience under his belt, having guided Derby County to the Championship play-off final in 2018-19, yet he is considered the frontrunner to succeed Sarri.

Here, we look at the winners and losers following the Italian's exit and Lampard's possible appointment.


LOSERS

Jorginho

He was the marquee signing lured to Chelsea last year following Sarri's arrival and was supposed to be the player that personified his coach's style of play. That in many ways turned out to be true, but not in a good way. Pass-master Jorginho was often criticised by his own supporters last season, not helped by Sarri's decision to play him in the position favoured by fan favourite N'Golo Kante, and it remains to be seen whether he has a future at Stamford Bridge under the new management.

Gianfranco Zola

Zola, whose return to Chelsea in a coaching capacity seemed like a shrewd piece of business at the time, is expected to make way during the close-season as part of a backroom reshuffle. Each member of Sarri's coaching staff reportedly only had one-year deals and that was no different for Zola, who it is said will not form part of Lampard's team.

Gonzalo Higuain

Chelsea chiefs will argue they backed Sarri in January by bringing in Higuain from Juventus in a complicated and protracted deal. The Blues have the option of signing the striker on a permanent basis, but that now seems even more unlikely to happen following Sarri's departure. Another reunion with the man who got so much out of him at Napoli awaits, but Juventus have already loaned him out twice and his chances will surely be limited in a side that already contains Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Moise Kean and Mario Mandzukic.

 

WINNERS

Olivier Giroud

The Frenchman did not hide his frustration at a lack of first-team chances last season, made all the more disappointing by the fact that he regularly took his opportunities when they arrived in the Europa League. Chelsea triggered a one-year extension in Giroud's contract last month and he may now have a bigger part to play, especially given that Higuain - used regularly through the middle by Sarri - is seemingly heading back to his parent club.

N'Golo Kante

Easily the most frustrating of Sarri's tactical tweaks, the experiment to use Kante out of position went on for far too long - eight months too long, in the view of many Shed End regulars. The Word Cup winner, widely considered to be the best defensive midfielder in the world in the two seasons leading up to Sarri's arrival, was used on the right of a three-man midfield. Moving Kante back into his favoured holding role should be the first tweak made by the next manager..

The youngsters

Sarri was reluctant to use Callum Hudson-Odoi for large parts of last season, despite coming in for criticism from the stands, and there was also limited playing time for many of the other talented youngsters in Chelsea's bloated squad. With Sarri no longer around, though, and a two-window transfer ban hanging over the club, the younger players may play a more significant role from next season - not least the likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori following their successful time on loan in the Championship with Lampard's Derby.

Maurizio Sarri has landed the biggest job of his career having swapped Chelsea for Juventus and his planning for the new season starts immediately.

After taking the long road to the top of the game, instant success will be demanded of the 60-year-old former banker as Juve seek their ninth straight Serie A table.

Sarri's Napoli posed the strongest challenge to Juve in recent years and he will come up against fellow former Chelsea bosses Antonio Conte and Carlo Ancelotti next term, with the Italians in charge of Inter and the Partenopei respectively.

Winning the league will be the least expected of Sarri at the Allianz Stadium, but what does he need to do to improve on the work done by predecessor Massimiliano Allegri?


Keep Ronaldo happy

Cristiano Ronaldo's first season at Juve was relatively successful - he scored 28 goals in all competitions including a Champions League hat-trick to down Atletico Madrid - but Sarri will hope there is more to come.

The 34-year-old was outscored by Duvan Zapata, Krzysztof Piatek and Fabio Quagliarella in Serie A, but, under Sarri at Napoli, Gonzalo Higuain plundered 36 league goals in the 2015-16 season and the new Juve coach will hope Ronaldo can achieve a similar return next term.

Of course, Higuain could well be back at Juve next season as, with Sarri gone after a single campaign at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are highly unlikely to trigger their option to either buy the striker or extend his loan for another season despite their transfer ban.

Juggling Ronaldo, Higuain, Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala promises to be one of the major challenges facing Sarri.


Win - and with attacking football

Barring outliers such as a 6-0 mauling by Manchester City, results for Sarri at Chelsea were broadly good, but it was his style of football many fans did not like.

Although he brought midfield conductor Jorginho with him from Napoli, Chelsea supporters felt Sarri's side played too slowly in possession, dominating the ball but without incision.

It was strange, though, as Sarri built one of the most exciting teams in world football at Napoli, where Jorginho played the same role. Perhaps at Juve he will have players who are suited to a more entertaining style.


Decide Dybala's future

Should Sarri decide to keep Higuain at Juve, the player to lose out could be Dybala. Last season was difficult for the Argentina forward as he only started 24 league games, the lowest total of his four seasons at the club.

Dybala's relationship with Allegri was frosty and reports have suggested Sarri would be willing to swap the 25-year-old for Mauro Icardi, whose relationship with Inter broke down last term after he was stripped of the captaincy.


Establish new long-term defence

Juve have an aging squad and freshening it up will be on Sarri's shoulders as he signed a three-year deal. 

Andrea Barzagli has retired and, with Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci having a combined age of 66, Sarri cannot rely on the duo long term.

Daniele Rugani will likely enjoy more minutes in 2019-20 after starting 15 Serie A games last term, with the 24-year-old an obvious successor to Barzagli, but Sarri has big calls to make at full-back as well as in the middle of his defence.

Joao Cancelo is reportedly a target for Manchester City while Alex Sandro has also been linked with leaving. Reports have claimed the Brazil left-back could be offered to Manchester United as a makeweight, along with Dybala, in a deal to bring Paul Pogba back to Turin.


End wait for European glory

Allegri's Juve dominated domestically but they continually fell short in Europe, so there is no doubt where the improvements need to be made by Sarri.

Juve have not won the Champions League since 1996, losing five times in the final since then, while Sarri led Chelsea to the Europa League title last term.

Ultimately, it would not matter much if Ronaldo was unhappy, Dybala remains unsettled and the football was uninspiring were Juve to lift the trophy in Istanbul next year.

Chelsea are set to step up their search for a new head coach following confirmation of Maurizio Sarri's departure for Juventus just a single season into his three-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard is the favourite to take over and the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Roberto Di Matteo have lined up in support of the Blues great.

The former England midfielder would be a popular figure on the touchline and has seemingly had the role on his radar since concluding his playing spell with the club in 2014.

But with just 12 months of managerial experience at Championship side Derby County on his resume, the appointment of Lampard to a first top-flight job - and one that carries a firm demand for silverware - would represent a considerable gamble for Chelsea and Lampard alike.

Who else, then, could Roman Abramovich pursue?

 

Nuno Espirito Santo - Wolves

The Portuguese is very much a coach on the rise. Wolves charged out of the Championship in Nuno's first season at the helm and finished a highly respectable seventh in the Premier League, while the two other promoted teams, Fulham and Cardiff City, succumbed to immediate relegation. Sceptics will question whether the resources afforded by Jorge Mendes' association with the club have led to an overestimation of Nuno's talents, but victories against Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea marked him out as a manager of serious pedigree. Nuno is in a comfortable position at Wolves and it would be difficult to convince Mendes to let his client leave a project that is still in its infancy.

Javi Gracia - Watford

Like Nuno, Gracia has won plaudits for his work in a short space of time at a mid-table Premier League team. The former Malaga boss guided Watford to 50 points – nine more than they managed the previous campaign – and a trip to the FA Cup final in an encouraging 2018-19 season. His quiet demeanour has just as effectively instituted a sense of a calm and continuity at a club that has operated a revolving door for coaches in recent times, an environment analogous to Chelsea's. Managerial spells in Greece, Russia and his native Spain are sure to have honed the 49-year-old's capacity to oversee a cosmopolitan dressing room.

Erik ten Hag - Ajax

Chelsea wanted entertaining football from Sarri. This could be the man to deliver it. Ajax were a joy to watch during their thrilling run to the Champions League semi-finals, Ten Hag successfully moulding a youthful, talented team that passed the ball with aplomb and showed no fear in knocking out Real Madrid and Juventus. Formerly in charge of Bayern Munich's reserves, Ten Hag arrived at Ajax via a successful period at Eredivisie rivals Utrecht and can take at least a portion of the credit for the development of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Donny van de Beek, among others. Appointing a coach with a knack for fostering emerging talents could be a shrewd move for a club that may have to look to its academy as the solution to a transfer embargo.

Ralf Rangnick - RB Leipzig

Reports in recent days describe Rangnick as a newcomer to Chelsea's shortlist of coaching contenders. It would take an abrupt change in direction for the German to land in London: Rangnick has already agreed to become the head of sport and soccer development for Red Bull when his contract with RB Leipzig expires at the end of June. Premier League links are not new, however, with Everton said to have weighed up his credentials following the dismissal of Ronald Koeman in 2017. Ragnick, in his role as sporting director, is considered the brains behind Leipzig's maturation into a high-achieving Bundesliga outfit and has had two separate spells as their head coach, most recently warming the seat for Julian Nagelsmann during the 2018-19 season. Strong results with Schalke and Hoffenheim helped establish him as one of the game's foremost minds in Germany.

Massimiliano Allegri - unemployed

The most qualified man on the shortlist appears the least likely to take on the job. That seems to be the message after Sarri's predecessor at Juve decided he would like to take a 12-month break from coaching. Allegri, who won five Serie A titles in Turin, was linked with Barcelona in the aftermath of his exit from Allianz Stadium and will continue to be mentioned in connection with big roles until his future is resolved. Chelsea's next manager will hope Allegri's availability does not become a distraction.

Frank Lampard's lack of managerial experience should not concern Chelsea but they must make sure they get the right people on his staff, according to Ruud Gullit.

The Blues are searching for a new boss after confirming Maurizio Sarri's departure on Sunday, with the Italian leaving Stamford Bridge to take over at Serie A champions Juventus.

Chelsea great Lampard is the favourite to take over despite his coaching CV including just a solitary season in charge of Derby County, who missed out on promotion after losing in the Championship play-off final to Aston Villa.

Yet Chelsea have taken the plunge with inexperienced appointments in the past. Gullit came in as player-coach in 1996, while Gianluca Vialli filled the same role after the Dutchman departed in February 1998.

"Look, he [Lampard] has done nothing yet as a coach. They gave me this opportunity as well - and we won. That has nothing to do with it," Gullit said at the Costa Smeralda Invitational event.

"I think it's important for Chelsea to have somebody who they can relate to - that's what they try to find.

"I hope also that they get the right people around him who can help him.

"So don't make a mistake to get friends there, make sure that you get somebody that has experience in managing and coaching teams and things like that. That would be the best thing for him."

Sarri won the Europa League and finished third in the Premier League in the 2018-19 campaign, yet a section of the club's support failed to warm to him during his reign.

Gullit, however, feels the Italian did a solid job, particularly as he was left to work with a lopsided squad that forced him to play Eden Hazard out of position.

"It's just Chelsea," he said of Sarri's exit. "Every time somebody wins something they're going to get sacked. It's better not to win anything!

"I think he was in a little bit of a difficult situation because of the fact he had three wingers all for the right side. He tried Eden Hazard up front and it didn't work. So he had to play him on the left.

"He kept on rotating with three of them, Pedro, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Willian, of course. For that reason, they wanted to have the youngster to give the benefit, but Willian is a Brazilian international.

"It was a difficult situation that [Sarri] didn't create. But I think that he did okay. If you see how the rest are, with Liverpool especially and Manchester City, it was difficult to get to first place."

After weeks of speculation, Maurizio Sarri has finally secured his exit from Chelsea, moving to Serie A champions Juventus on a three-year deal.

Sarri arrived at Stamford Bridge from Napoli ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, apparently set to change the way Chelsea played, installing a more expansive style.

Chelsea supporters never quite took to the Italian, though, and even the Europa League title and a place in next season's Champions League did not appear to improve his standing.

So, will Sarri's sole season in the Premier League ultimately be deemed a success? Omnisport writers Tom Webber and Ben Spratt argue either side.

 

SARRI WAS A SUCCESS - TW

Chelsea appointed Sarri because they wanted a coach capable of instilling a positive playing identity within the team.

There were plenty of times the Blues did not look particularly pleasing on the eye and the fans made their thoughts known with chants of "F*** Sarri-ball".

However, the Italian was only a few months into his tenure when that started and he deserved to be given more time and support to carry out his remit.

A third-place finish in the Premier League, only losing the EFL Cup final to Pep Guardiola's incredible Manchester City and winning the Europa League title represented an impressive return from his debut season at Stamford Bridge.

Sarri's sole year in charge was a success and it would have been great to see how Chelsea fared after a proper pre-season under the Italian, having spent too long wrangling with Napoli over compensation for his services.

He eventually gave Callum Hudson-Odoi more game time and helped Ruben Loftus-Cheek reach a level where he undoubtedly looked like becoming a long-term first-team regular, but it will be up to someone else to help them kick on.

 

SARRI WAS A FAILURE - BS

Chelsea supporters made their feelings on Sarri clear.

And, while results may ultimately have panned out, few could blame those following the Blues for airing their frustrations during some particularly dismal performances away from home in 2019.

Would Sarri, without the departed Eden Hazard, have been able to alter opinions on his style of play next season? It's doubtful.

Given that the Italian was brought in to belatedly oversee a style of play to match the silverware successes of the past 15 years, it is fair to say those dissenting voices deemed the coach a failure in this regard.

There is also a hunger to see some of their academy talents finally given a chance to shine.

Sarri took a long time to show trust in Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek and, even with a looming transfer ban, Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham surely would not have received the opportunities they deserve under the former Napoli boss.

In another era, when Chelsea would turn to Jose Mourinho to win and win ugly, Sarri might have been a success. But times are changing at Stamford Bridge and he was the wrong man.

Chelsea are seeking yet another manager in the Roman Abramovich era following Maurizio Sarri's switch to Serie A champions Juventus.

Frank Lampard is widely reported to be first choice to take charge at Stamford Bridge, with the former Chelsea midfielder set to return after a single season gathering managerial experience in the Championship with Derby County.

Sarri was far from universally popular with Chelsea fans despite winning the Europa League, reaching the EFL Cup final and finishing third in the Premier League.

But how does he compare with Chelsea's many other managers under Russian billionaire Abramovich? Omnisport crunches the Opta numbers to find out.


CLAUDIO RANIERI

When Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, Ranieri was the man in the Stamford Bridge dugout - but he left the following year. The genial Italian won 61 per cent of his matches in charge under Abramovich as Chelsea - who bought players including Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele, Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo in a spending spree - finished second in the Premier League behind Arsenal's Invincibles. Chelsea also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League that year but Ranieri's decisions in a defeat to Monaco were questioned.


JOSE MOURINHO

Announcing himself as a "special one" on his arrival, Mourinho justified his own lofty billing by leading the club to the Premier League title, as well as the EFL Cup. They got to the last four of the Champions League again only to be beaten by Liverpool thanks to a controversial Luis Garcia goal. The Blues defended their Premier League title the next season but were unseated by Manchester United in 2006-07, although Mourinho led them to triumphs in both domestic cups. A poor start to 2007-08, including a Champions League draw at home to Rosenborg, saw Mourinho leave the club.

He returned in 2013 and Chelsea won the Premier League again in his second season in charge, as well as collecting another EFL Cup. But he left once more in December 2015, with his win ratio across both spells at the club, in all competitions, standing at an excellent 63.6 per cent.


AVRAM GRANT

In Mourinho's first spell at Stamford Bridge, Abramovich's appointment of Grant in a technical role reportedly led to tensions and the Israeli was then installed in the dugout. Despite being unpopular with fans, Grant steered Chelsea to the final of the EFL Cup, when they were beaten by Tottenham, and they finished second in the Premier League. Somewhat improbably, Grant's Chelsea also reached the Champions League final but they lost to Manchester United on penalties after John Terry's slip.


LUIZ FELIPE SCOLARI

Former Brazil boss Scolari, who led them to World Cup glory, failed to complete a single season at Chelsea as they sacked him in February 2009 citing "deteriorating" results. Scolari won just 55.6 per cent of his games in charge of Chelsea.


GUUS HIDDINK

Then-Russia coach Hiddink arrived as a temporary successor to Scolari and took Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost to Barcelona. They won the FA Cup final in his last game in charge but despite being popular with fans and players, he did not stay on.

Hiddink was a natural choice to return when Mourinho left a second time and a 12-game unbeaten run helped the Blues finish in the top half of the Premier League. Despite this, his win ratio across his two periods at Chelsea stands at just 53.1 per cent.


CARLO ANCELOTTI

Ancelotti arrived in 2009 and Chelsea pipped United to the Premier League title in his first season, adding the FA Cup to seal a domestic double. But United beat Chelsea in Europe and the Premier League in the following campaign and Ancelotti was dismissed even though his 61.5 per cent win ratio in all competitions was admirable.


ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS

Like Mourinho, Villas-Boas joined from Porto but he could not match his compatriot's success. With Chelsea outside the top four in the Premier League, he was sacked in March 2012 with a win ratio of 47.5 per cent - the lowest of any Blues boss in the Abramovich era.


ROBERTO DI MATTEO

Another temporary manager, Di Matteo moved up from being assistant to Villas-Boas and the Italian oversaw victory in the FA Cup final against Liverpool. Di Matteo also managed Chelsea to a remarkable defeat of Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League, then Didier Drogba's penalty in the shoot-out saw them beat Bayern Munich at their Allianz Arena home and claim the club's first European Cup.

Di Matteo was rewarded with a permanent contract but was dismissed after a Champions League group-stage loss to Juventus. His eight months in charge, while delivering two major trophies, yielded a win ratio of 57.1 per cent.


RAFAEL BENITEZ

Former Liverpool manager Benitez, whose win ratio was 58.3 per cent at Stamford Bridge, was another appointment that was unpopular with fans. But he secured Champions League qualification and more European silverware, with the Blues beating Benfica 2-1 in the Europa League final. 


ANTONIO CONTE

Another Italian, Conte took charge after successful periods at Juventus and Italy. They won the Premier League title in style in his first season but Conte left despite beating United in the FA Cup final in the following campaign. Conte's win ratio of 65.1 per cent at the club is second only to Grant and he will be a Serie A rival for Sarri next term as he has been appointed by Inter.


MAURIZIO SARRI

Sarri's style never won fans over but third place in the Premier League, coupled with an appearance in the EFL Cup final - overshadowed by Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be substituted - and Europa League glory marked a successful single season. Sarri's 61.9 per cent win ratio at the club narrowly pips fellow Italian Ancelotti, who replaced him at Napoli last year.

Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to take over Juventus on a three-year contract, it has been confirmed.

Sarri had only completed one of the three seasons Chelsea contracted him for, but an agreement was reached to allow him to return to Serie A, where he led Napoli to a second-place finish in 2017-18.

The Italian coach's position had been in doubt for several months due to a number of issues at Chelsea, and Frank Lampard has been tipped to replace him at the helm.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: "In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant.

"He also believed it important to be nearer his family, and for the wellbeing of his elderly parents he felt he needed to live closer to them at this point.

"Maurizio leaves Chelsea with thanks from us all for the work he and his assistants did during the season he spent as our head coach, and for winning the Europa League, guiding us to another cup final and a third-place finish in the Premier League.

"We would also like to congratulate him on securing the role as big as any in Serie A and to wish him the best of luck for the future."

Although he departs after a commendable third-place finish in the Premier League and winning the Europa League, Sarri's time in England was anything but smooth.

After an encouraging start domestically, Sarri's style of play began to be criticised and there were suggestions it was not quick enough to thrive in England.

The signing of Jorginho, who followed the coach from Napoli, received particularly negative attention.

A poor run of form towards the end of 2018 stretched into the New Year and saw Chelsea ship 10 goals without reply in successive away matches to Bournemouth and Manchester City.

That left Sarri's job in doubt, while Kepa Arrizabalaga's decision to defy the coach's attempt to substitute him in the EFL Cup final defeat to City led to suggestions the Italian had lost the dressing room.

Sarri held on and managed to guide Chelsea to a third-place finish and Europa League glory, with reports prior to the game in Baku suggesting defeat would result in his sacking.

However, he has been allowed to leave in a move that could pave the way for fan favourite Lampard to return to Stamford Bridge following his first season in management.

Lampard's strong links to Chelsea will not be his only advantage – he thrived under a tight budget at Derby County, using loans and young players, and that will likely stand him in good stead if the Blues' transfer embargo stands.

Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to take over Juventus on a three-year contract, it has been confirmed.

Tanguy Ndombele fuelled talk of a transfer to Tottenham as he admitted the Premier League club is an appealing destination.

Spurs are reportedly leading the chase for 22-year-old midfielder Ndombele as they move to strengthen the squad that lost to Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked to the highly rated France international, who has impressed in his two seasons at Lyon.

Mauricio Pochettino's last signing was Lucas Moura from Paris Saint-Germain in January 2018 and it appears as though his next recruit could also come from Ligue 1.

"It's a great team, a great club," Ndombele told Telefoot when asked about Tottenham.

"They finished fourth in their league and went to the final of the Champions League.

"Which player wouldn't be interested by a big club?"

Ndombele made 34 appearances as Lyon finished third in Ligue 1 last term.

The former Amiens man started France's friendly win over Bolivia and 4-0 defeat of Andorra in Euro 2020 qualifying in June.

Paul Pogba has hinted he is ready to leave Manchester United after revealing his desire for a "new challenge somewhere else".

The midfielder's future at Old Trafford has been in doubt after an indifferent 2018-19 season, with Real Madrid reportedly interested.

Former club Juventus have also been linked with Pogba, who returned for a second spell at Old Trafford when United paid a then-record fee of £89million in August 2016.

Speaking in Tokyo, the 26-year-old - a World Cup winner at Russia 2018 - admitted the time could be right to move on.

"There has been a lot of talking, a lot of thinking as well. I've been here for three years in Manchester, it has been going great," he told reporters.

"There have been some good moments and some bad moments, like everywhere else. But after this season, after everything that happened with my season, it was my best season as well, I think for me it can be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else.

"I'm thinking of this – to have a new challenge somewhere else."

Paul Pogba should stay at Manchester United as he has unfinished business with the Premier League club, according to Robert Pires.

Midfielder Pogba returned to United in August 2016, signing from Juventus for a then-record fee of £89million, but has flattered to deceive since, leading to speculation over his future.

The 26-year-old has won the EFL Cup and Europa League in his second spell at Old Trafford, while he also played a starring role in France's successful World Cup campaign in Russia.

Yet while the inconsistent Pogba has been linked with Real Madrid, Pires has urged his compatriot to stay put in the transfer window and prove his worth at United.

"My view about Paul Pogba is that he’s a great player, but I also know that last season especially was very difficult for him," Pires told the Mirror.

"A lot of people just talk about the transfer because Manchester United spent a lot of money.

"So maybe that was difficult for him to handle, particularly at the beginning. But for me, the most important thing is for him to continue at United.

"It is one of the best and biggest clubs in the world and he has unfinished business. The reason United spent such a huge amount of money on him is that they believed a lot in Paul because he can be a real leader for their team.

"When the club spend a lot of money like this for you, it’s because they have faith in you. That’s why it’s very important to have this point in your head. I know Paul is very intelligent about this.

"They have invested a lot in him, so I believe it’s very important that he stays at United and delivers what they know he can produce."

Pires' former international team-mate Zinedine Zidane is overseeing a squad overhaul in Madrid, with Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy among the new recruits at the LaLiga club.

"I know Madrid and Zidane want Paul and that may be hard for him to resist," Pires added.

"United will play in the Europa League next season and every player wants to play in the Champions League. Maybe Paul wants to win this competition with Madrid.

"But I think he has football to play in the Premier League."

From Madrid to Munich? Gareth Bale could be set for a new challenge.

Out of favour at Real Madrid, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are reportedly eyeing the Wales star.

With Madrid looking to trim their wage bill and raise some funds, Bale appears headed for the exit door…

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN WANT BALE

According to The Sun, Bayern Munich are ready to offer Gareth Bale an escape from Real Madrid.

Having already signed Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes, Madrid are looking to sell as Zinedine Zidane continues his overhaul in the Spanish capital.

And with Niko Kovac's Bayern keen to bolster their attacking options on the flank following the departures of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, the German giants are reportedly prepared to take Bale on loan.

 

 

ROUND-UP

- Radio CRC in Italy reports that Napoli have moved closer to signing James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, which would reunite the Colombia star with Carlo Ancelotti after he was lured to Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal in 2017.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will submit a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to Real Madrid, according to ABC. Meanwhile, the Mirror claims the French World Cup winner is prepared to go on strike.

- The Mirror also says Mohamed Salah will weigh up his Liverpool future at the end of the 2019-20 season, despite reported interest from Juventus and Real Madrid.

- According to Sky Sports News, Manchester United are interested in West Ham defender Issa Diop. The Red Devils are reportedly willing to pay £45million plus a player. It comes as United struggle in their pursuit of a centre-back as they continue to be linked to Leicester City's Harry Maguire and Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also reportedly persevering in his efforts to prise Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

- Premier League champions Manchester City have moved ahead of rivals Manchester United and Atletico Madrid in the race to sign Benfica sensation Joao Felix. That is according to the Daily Mail, which claims City's willingness to loan the 19-year-old – who has a £105million release clause – back to the Portuguese champions has tilted the transfer battle in their favour.

- The Daily Star reports Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann will reject Manchester United's advances to team up with Lionel Messi at LaLiga champions Barcelona.

- According to Sky Germany, Mats Hummels is close to re-joining Borussia Dortmund from Bayern Munich. The 30-year-old defender left Dortmund in 2016.

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