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Chelsea Boss Maurizio Sarri. Courtesy photo

Speculation about Maurizio Sarri’s Future as Chelsea Face Arsenal in Europa League Final

There is speculation that, win or lose in Baku's Olympic Stadium, it could be Blues boss Maurizio Sarri's final game in charge.
posted onMay 29, 2019

By BBC Sport

London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal meet in an all-English Europa League final on Wednesday, 2,500 miles from home.

There is speculation that, win or lose in Baku's Olympic Stadium, it could be Blues boss Maurizio Sarri's final game in charge.

He refused to discuss reports linking him with Italian side Juventus on the eve of the final, saying: "I have a contract with Chelsea for two years. "So, first of all I will speak with Chelsea but this is not the moment."

Sarri has had a turbulent first campaign at Stamford Bridge, frequently questioning the mentality of his squad and having a public fall-out with Kepa Arrizabalaga during the Carabao Cup final.

But, as he reflected on the past 11 months, he suggested his feelings for his players will play a part if he does have a decision to make about his future. "For me, at the beginning of the season it was really very difficult to understand my players, to understand the mentality," Sarri explained.

"But after a very difficult month in January, in February they started to change, I think. Or probably I changed - I don't know. "In this moment, I love them because I have 20, 22 wonderful men, and wonderful players. So now I am really very happy with them. "Of course, I have to consider it for the future, and I have to consider that I love English football and I love the Premier League."

'Arsenal's first target is a trophy - not Champions League place' Sarri, 60, has never won a major honour as a manager, while his Arsenal counterpart Unai Emery has won this competition three times with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016. His current club has had rather less success on the continent, however.

While Chelsea won the Europa League in 2013, a year after their triumph in the Champions League, Arsenal have not clinched a European title since they won the now obsolete European Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.

Emery insists ending that 25-year wait is his first objective in Azerbaijan, despite the game also being his side's last chance of making next season's Champions League after a two-year absence - with qualification likely to significantly increase their summer transfer funds.

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