What Mourinho Has Said About New Chelsea Manager Maurizio Sarri

Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti with Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri before the match.

REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

Jose Mourinho believes Maurizio Sarri has ‘conditions to do good work’ at Chelsea, as he prepares to come up against the Italian for the first time in his career.

Sarri has held a managerial role at nine different clubs in his homeland, Italy. The former Napoli boss is a new appointment. Among football’s worst-kept secrets for over a month was Chelsea‘s imminent managerial change, which duly took place last month.

Sarri replaced an old Mourinho rival in Antonio Conte. The former Juventus and Italian national team manager was sacked after failing to lead the Blues to a Champions League berth in the 2017-18 Premier League campaign, as they finished a disappointing 5th as defending champions.

Although Mourinho has previously worked in Italy, leading Inter Milan to a historic treble in 2010, Sarri was managing in the lower leagues during the Portuguese’s time in the Serie A.

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The 59-year-old has already admitted it will be ‘very exciting’ to come up against Jose Mourinho. During his time with Napoli, the splendid tactician had even admitted that he would ‘love to play against Manchester United at Old Trafford’.

Speaking to beIN SPORTS about Sarri, Jose stated: “When I was in Italy from 2008-10, he was not in Serie A. I never met him or played against him. I just follow football and lately the good work he did with Napoli.

“In England, all the good managers have the desire to come. It’s a crazy competition with a high level so I think every manager has the dream to come so he had the chance to come. He has a fantastic team, fantastic players and squad – I think he has conditions to do good work.”

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The two present interesting contrasts in terms of their managerial philosophies. While Sarri is a forward-thinking, attacking manager by principle, Mourinho has made a trophy-laden career by enabling his teams to play a physical, defensive-minded style.

United improved drastically from their 6th-placed finish in 2016-17 to a second-place finish last season. The Special One has set his eyes on the Premier League title in the upcoming campaign.

With other competitors like Liverpool and Tottenham having already made moves to strengthen their squads, both Chelsea and United may have a couple of players more to add to their rosters during the week of the transfer window that remains.