MAURIZIO SARRI finally left Chelsea for Juventus yesterday, with the Blues expected to open talks with Derby as they bid to secure Frank Lampard as his successor at Stamford Bridge.
In a statement Chelsea said the 60-year-old Italian, who moved to London from Napoli last summer, had asked to be allowed to return to his homeland to be closer to his family.
The Blues announced on Thursday they had agreed compensation, understood to be in excess of £5million, for their manager and yesterday’s statement confirmed: ‘The two clubs have reached an agreement for the early termination of Sarri’s contract, which had two years left to run and is ending at his request.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: ‘In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant.
‘He also believed it important to be nearer his family, and for the well-being of his elderly parents he felt he needed to live closer to them.
‘Maurizio leaves Chelsea with thanks from us all for the work he and his assistants did, and for winning the Europa League, guiding us to another cup final [in the Carabao Cup] and a third-place finish in the league.
‘We would also like to congratulate him on securing the role as big as any in Serie A and to wish him the best of luck for the future.’
Juventus, Italian champions for the last eight seasons, confirmed Sarri has signed a three-year contract.
Former Blues midfielder Lampard led Derby to the Championship play-off final in his first season as a manager.
Should he get the job, the 40-year-old would become Chelsea’s first permanent English boss in 23 years.