Maurizio Sarri is preparing himself to launch a raid on his former club during this summer’s transfer window.
The former Chelsea boss, who left the club two years ago this month, is looking to launch a double raid on his former club if he is successfully installed as the new Lazio boss.
According to reports in Italy, Sarri, who has been out-of-work since leaving since Juventus almost a year ago, is poised to be appointed as the Serie A outfit’s new manager, following Simone Inzaghi’s switch to Inter Milan last week.
Inzaghi was poached by the Italian heavyweights after another former Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte left the club, despite recently leading them to the Serie A title.
Should Sarri be appointed Lazio’s new manager, barring any late snags or hitches, it is claimed that the 62-year-old has already set his sights on being reunited with Chelsea duo Marcos Alonso and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
It is reported that Sarri wants to make Loftus-Cheek his first signing after being the most successful Chelsea manager to have been able to get a tune out of him. After impressing on loan at Crystal Palace during the 2017/18 campaign, the 25-year-old, who earned a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as a result of his performances at Selhurst Park, was a key figure for Sarri at Stamford Bridge during the 2018/19 campaign, making 40 appearances in all competitions, chipping in with ten goals.
However, following Sarri’s exit in June 2019, Loftus-Cheek has struggled for opportunities at Stamford Bridge, so much so that he spent this season on loan at Fulham, which saw him rack up 31 Premier League outings.
Although he was unable to stop the Cottagers from suffering an immediate return to the Championship, the midfielder did produce some encouraging performances, so much so that Thomas Tuchel made a special case of heaping praise on him back in April, leaving the door open for the England international to stake a claim himself at Stamford Bridge next season.
Tuchel, speaking ahead of the Blues’ 2-0 win over Fulham on May 1, said: “I was quite a fan of him when he was even younger, when he came from the academy into professional football here at Chelsea.
“It reminded us a bit of his style of play and movements with Michael Ballack.
“There were some links about him all the time with maybe a move to the German league so we were well aware of him and his talent. Sometimes I don’t know why things worked out as he wished and everyone wished but he is on loan now and doing well.
“He is leaving his footprints there and it would be unfair to judge him from TV, hearsay and what people say about him. I like to work with players and give my opinion then. Maybe also pretty quick but also from a direct impression.
“This is what I don’t have. I don’t know what the idea is, my opinion is or the club’s opinion is. There’s no decision made yet.”
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With Tuchel having declared his fondness for Loftus-Cheek, it will be interesting to see if he does creep into the German’s plans for next season.
The Blues are relatively well-stocked in central-midfield and are looking at the possibility of signing another one, meaning they could be open to letting him go if the right offer comes along, whether that be from Lazio or another potential suitor.
At 25, Loftus-Cheek is soon going to want to settle down and find a permanent home if Chelsea are not going to offer him those cravings, meaning the prospect of being reunited with Sarri again could tempt him.
In total, the former Crystal Palace loanee has made 82 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 12 goals.