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Opinion

Maurizio Sarri to Juventus and Rafa Benitez to Chelsea – An Italian fantasy

2 months ago
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Rafa Benitez and Maurizio Sarri are set to accept new jobs in the next 48 hours, if you believe the headlines on Tuesday morning.

A bit like setting a match to gunpowder, a spark from Italy has lit up all of the English media.

Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport have ran a story saying that Chelsea (re)appointing Rafa Benitez is imminent and that once that is confirmed, Maurizio Sarri will be named new Juventus boss.

When newspapers are so rarely proved correct on anything when claiming insider knowledge of the movement of managers or players, always ultra suspicious when one of them claims to know so many details.

It is almost as though it is a fantasy conjured up by the original writer.

Which is of course the big problem, all of the English newspaper headlines portraying it as though it is fact in their headlines, rather than a usually very unreliable newspaper in Italy being the source, with no visible…sources.

The (original) story is very keen to make it an elaborate tale based around how Maurizio Sarri was the one who followed Rafa Benitez into Napoli, then linking that with now it is Rafa Benitez who would be the one to set Sarri free to return to Italy and take the top job in Serie A.

All sounds a little too good to be true…

Massimiliano Allegri waked away from Juventus after five years in charge, five years were he won five consecutive Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia triumphs and two Champions League finals in those five years.

The whole fantasy article might sound feasible in any number of ways but whatever happens with Rafa Benitez this summer, he won’t be heading to Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea fans hate him and despite when he was interim manager for only six months in the 2012/13 season, delivering third place and Champions League qualification as well as a Europa League trophy, all that the Chelsea fans wanted to say afterwards was that Rafa’s football was not good enough for them, too boring, and they still hated him.

Move forward to this season just ended and despite delivering third place and Champions League qualification as well as a Europa League trophy…

All that the Chelsea fans wanted to say afterwards was that the type of football served up by Maurizio Sarri was not good enough for them, too boring, and they still don’t like him. Though not quite so much as Rafa Benitez.

Even if Chelsea wanted Rafa, why on earth would he want to go and manage in front of their supporters? Especially when they are under a transfer embargo and are forcing out a manager who has delivered that third place, Champions League football and the Europa trophy?

In his three seasons at Napoli, under Maurizio Sarri the Italian club were the closest challengers to all dominant Juventus, finishing second on two occasions and third the other season – though only five points off the top in that one.

So it would be no surprise to see Sarri at Juventus but Newcastle fans can rest easy on this particular Rafa Benitez worry.

I wish all the rest of our concerns could be dismissed so easily…

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