Maurizio Sarri has been told that if he can defeat Manchester City and lift the Carabao Cup, his job will be safe for more or less all of the presentation ceremony, FourFourTwo understands.
The Italian tactician has been under fire after recent performances, but this latest vote of confidence will come as a boost to Sarri, who may be able to plan all the way through to late Sunday evening without fear of being dismissed, as long as he can mastermind a victory over a team who beat them 6-0 just under a fortnight ago.
‘Roman Abramovich is a fair man and he understands that Sarri needs some time to mould the club in his image,’ an insider at Chelsea told FourFourTwo.
‘As long as Chelsea win on Sunday, he won’t be looking for a new manager, at least not while We Are The Champions is playing, unless they play the album version and not the single – we’re not making any guarantees in the event of Brian May’s self-indulgent solos.
‘But I have no doubt that Sarri will still be in charge long into Sunday afternoon/early evening, at least until the ticker tape is cleared off the pitch.’
Another one bites the dust
However, other voices inside the club suggest that Sarri’s fate is already decided and that Abramovich will axe him, even if that means firing him midway through him being ceremonially thrown in the air by jubilant players.
‘The players are ready for the signal at any time,’ an anonymous source told FourFourTwo.
‘It could come halfway through the game, it could come as they line up to take penalties, it could come as the players prepare to hoist the trophy into the air.
‘As soon as it happens, Sarri is dead to them, and the players are clear that they will cease to acknowledge him, even if that means allowing a 60-year-old man to crash to the floor from on top of their shoulders.’
Reports suggest that Abramovich has already filled out all the sections of Sarri’s P45 and is simply waiting to enter the date of his termination, while the club’s brightest media minds have already pulled together a statement in which they thank the Neapolitan for ‘all his hard work’, at the same time carefully making sure they don’t have to explain exactly what this hard work entailed.
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