Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri front runner for Roma job with first choice Antonio Conte heading for Inter Milan
Maurizio Sarri has emerged as favourite to become Roma manager this summer after their first choice, Antonio Conte, entered negotiations with Inter Milan, according to reports in Italy.
Sarri is currently manager of Chelsea, but has endured a disappointing first season in English football where he has been criticised for tactical inflexibility, poor results and a reluctance to give chances to young players such as Callum Hudson-Odoi.
As a result Sarri could leave Stamford Bridge this summer and return to Serie A, with Roma looking for a new manager beyond the end of this season.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport, Roma owner James Pallotta has summoned senior club figures to Boston to make a decision on the club’s future.
They say no official decision or approach has been made, but that Sarri is now the No 1 target – however, only if he is sacked by Chelsea, as they would not be able top afford his release clause.
There is also concern over whether Roma could match Sarri’s contract at Chelsea – which Corriere states as €6million a year – but he is firmly on their shortlist.
There were suggestions in February that Sarri has met with Roma already, but he denied this at a press conference.
Sarri said: ‘I have a contract with Chelsea for the next two seasons, so it is impossible to have another contract.
‘I read in an Italian newspaper something about a meeting with Baldini but I think for the moment Franco is in South Africa, so it is very difficult.’
Former Blues boss Claudio Ranieri is currently manager of Roma after they dismissed Eusebio di Francesco, however he is not expected to stay beyond his current contract, which expires this summer.
Conte meanwhile is reportedly no longer being considered by Roma due to his wage demands – he willing to take over the reins at Inter Milan, but only on the proviso they make him the highest paid manager in Serie A.