Maurizio Sarri was certainly not the most popular manager in recent Chelsea history. Despite leading the Blues to the Europa League crown, the veteran Italian was only afforded a solitary season at Stamford Bridge, with his style of play earning him the most criticism.
Whilst the now Lazio head coach was not enamoured by swathes of the Blues’ crowd, he could potentially be set to hand his former club a vital boost of transfer funds this summer, with uncertainty over the club’s ownership situation still rolling on. As it stands, Chelsea are not allowed to secure any deals, or indeed commit existing players to new contracts in west London, so long as Roman Abramovich remains the owner of the club.
That could all well change within the next few weeks, with Raine’s deadline for any official takeover bids and documents coming today (Thursday). With a number of contenders in the running to complete a deal, the question remains how much any of those interested parties would be able to spend in the summer transfer window should they secure a move. The new owners’ – and indeed Chelsea’s – coffers could potentially be boosted should Sarri ’s Lazio complete moves for a handful of his former players.
READ MORE:Steve Pagliuca makes takeover team statement amid John Terry True Blue move
Firstly, the Italian giants have been linked with a swoop for Kepa Arrizabalaga for some time. Whilst Chelsea appear highly unlikely to recoup anywhere near the £70m that that played Athletic Club for his services, he still holds a valuation of around £9m with transfermarkt – a fee that would come in handy for the Blues heading into the summer window.
Another player that has also been regularly linked with a reunion with Sarri is academy graduate Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Those links have resurfaced recently, with Corriere dello Sport claiming that the Blues midfielder is being eyed by Lazio as a potential replacement for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The 26-year is currently valued at £18m by transfermarkt.
Finally, fellow academy graduate Callum Hudson-Odoi could also potentially be on his way to the Stadio Olimpico should Sarri get his way. The Italian was very publicly a big fan of the speedy winger during his time in west London and numerous reports have suggested that he is still admired by the ex-Chelsea boss. Hudson-Odoi is the most valuable of the trio linked with a switch to Lazio in recent times, currently holding a valuation of £28m with transfermarkt.
It of course remains to be seen whether Lazio will pursue the three – and indeed if Chelsea agree to their respective sales. One thing that is certain though, is that the Blues could be in line for a considerable financial boost from a familiar face.