According to the Sun (via Leggo), Maurizio Sarri has emerged as the front-runner for the Roma job after positive talks between both parties.
It is widely expected that Paulo Fonseca will leave the Serie A club this summer after a disappointing campaign, which sees his side facing an almighty battle to qualify for next years Champions League.
A humiliating Coppa Italia defeat to Spezia in January added to the early cup exits Roma suffered during Fonseca’s debut season during the 2019/20 season.
Three defeats in their last five league outings leaves the Giallorossi facing a second successive season without Champions League football. Despite a Europa League quarter-final showdown against Ajax still to come, it reportedly does not look enough for Fonseca to remain at the helm.
Leggo reported Sarri was initially contacted by Roma back in January, and talks have since accelerated.
The 62-year-old is excited by the project and believes the club is a good fit for his 4-3-3 formation.
The former Chelsea and Juventus boss is confident he can turn the Giallorossi into a real force, which previous approaches from teams in Turkey, France and Italy failed to offer.
SL view- Perfect time for Sarri’s return?
Sarri has been out of work since his Juventus dismissal last summer. Despite no shortage of offers to return to the dugout, the Italian has been cautiously waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.
Since a thrilling 2017/18 Champions League campaign, which included a historic comeback win against Barcelona on route to an eventual semi-final exit, Roma have failed to kick on.
A disappointing round of 16 exit at the hands of Porto in 2018/19 was their last appearance in Europe’s top competition, whilst finishing 5th and 6th in their last two Serie A campaigns.
During Sarri’s four year tenure at Napoli, he transformed his team into one capable of winning a league title, consistently battling Juventus for first place.
In his final season, it took until December for Napoli to register their first league defeat and another three months for their second, winning 10 straight games in the process.
Despite finishing runners-up, four points behind Juventus, Sarri left for Chelsea with a heroic reputation throughout the city of Naples.
He had reinstalled Napoli’s flair and commanding style of play, which the Napoli faithful had long been missing.
The Friedkin Group in charge at Roma will be well aware of his memorable chapter at Napoli and will be hoping the Italian will be able to replicate the successes in Rome.
Sarri’s title-winning experience after guiding Juventus to their ninth consecutive Scudetto, as well as his European success he enjoyed at Chelsea, add further feathers to his cap.
Roma are faced with the issue of re-building an ageing squad with key players such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Edin Dzeko and Pedro in the twilight of their careers.
Sarri’s pulling power would be vital in Roma’s ability to re-invest into their side and build a team worthy of competing at the top.
Convincing Jorginho and Gonzalo Higuaín to join him at Chelsea, who were both key players for Napoli and Juventus at the time, underlines the strong man-management he has with players.
Although Juventus opted to replace Sari after a single season in Turin, despite his league success, the veteran manager’s reputation in Italy remains highly-regarded.
Roma’s project poses the perfect opportunity for Sarri to reignite his managerial career, whilst leaving the Giallorossi with the ideal man to surge the Roman club to former heights.