Meeting ‘imminent’ as Chelsea line up Newcastle boss Benitez

Joe Williams
Rafa Benitez Newcastle United

Chelsea are ready for shock talks with Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez over the possibility of replacing Maurizio Sarri as their new manager.

Sarri secured Champions League qualification by finishing third in the Premier League and then won the Europa League, yet it has been a difficult debut season that has seen his methods criticised.

Juventus are looking for a successor to Massimiliano Allegri and it has been claimed that Sarri held talks with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia over the last couple of weeks during which he said he wanted to return to Italy.

Benitez’s future, meanwhile, remains up in the air as owner Mike Ashley still hasn’t finalised a sale of Newcastle with the Spaniard’s contract up this summer.

And Italian publication Tuttosport (via Sport Witness) claims that a meeting is ‘imminent’ between Chelsea and Benitez, which could see Sarri move to Juventus earlier than expected.

It would be a controversial move for some Chelsea supporters, who didn’t exactly welcome him with open arms during his interim spell in charge at Stamford Bridge several years ago, following a number of run-ins when he was in charge at Liverpool.

Tuttosport believe it is possible, though, and that he is one of a number of options the club are considering in an effort to line up a replacement for Sarri.