Chelsea nearly replaced Frank Lampard with Maurizio Sarri, according to a shock report. The Italian spent just one season at Stamford Bridge. However, despite disappointing during his time in west London, it seems he very nearly returned.
Chelsea sacked Lampard last month, axing the 42-year-old after a difficult 18-month spell in charge.
Thomas Tuchel was then named as his replacement, with the German taking over after his own departure from Paris Saint-Germain.
However, Italian journalist Ciro Venerato has claimed Sarri nearly took charge of Chelsea for a second time.
He says that Blues supremo Marina Granovskaia wanted the Italian to return, and the former Napoli and Juventus boss even agreed to take over.
In the end, however, Roman Abramovich intervened to ensure Tuchel was appointed instead.
“Chelsea, after having dismissed Lampard, wanted the coach back,” Venerato told Rai Sport.
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Tuchel said: “If you see him on a daily basis, you cannot be surprised. He is totally fit, his body is in shape and his physicality is on top level.
“Mentally I have really the feeling he enjoys every day being a professional soccer player on this level and this is the level he needs to be.
“He trains like a 20-year-old, like a 24-year-old.
“He is a guy who has a good mixture of serious and joy in training. He is always positive and it is a big factor for the group.
“He starts, when he comes from the bench, he has all these qualities and it is good like this.”
Tuchel also described himself as being ‘super happy’ after Chelsea’s win, with the Blues now one step closer to Champions League glory.
“I am super happy for my players and the team for such a big reward,” continued the German.
“We actually can read it on the scoreline that we have the result against top opponents.
“It was very important that we are absolutely concentrated over all 96 minutes and that we also accept that it’s very hard to create chances, but we did all that and it was a very good team effort.”
As for Lampard, he’s currently being linked with the Celtic job in the aftermath of Neil Lennon’s departure.
But Ally McCoist thinks he shouldn’t take over, saying recently: “No!
“I know they hang on every word I say but ‘Frank, Jodie, don’t do it guys’.
“Get yourselves to the continent for a couple of years boys and enjoy it.
“I know the boys hang on every word I say so I know they will be listening to me.
“The boys will be saying: ‘Ally says we have to go to France or Germany or something like that’.”