Maurizio Sarri has been touted as the number one candidate for the Chelsea manager's role if the Blues elect to replace Antonio Conte this summer.
The Napoli boss has spoken about his future in Italy and admitted it may be time to move on, and the Daily Mail has latched on to those quotes and claimed that Chelsea have now stepped up their interest in Sarri's services as a result.
Conte's future at Stamford Bridge is still up in the air despite reports suggesting he still has the backing of club owner Roman Abramovich, even if the 2017 Premier League champions fail to qualify for next season's Champions League.
The west Londoners failed to defend their league crown and only have the FA Cup as a possible source of trophy success this season and, coupled with Conte's quotes about potentially wanting to head back to his homeland, may look to part ways with the ex-Juventus and Italy head coach.
And that would potentially lead to a swoop for Sarri, with the Argentine now believed to be front and centre in their hunt for a new manager for the 2018/19 campaign.
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Napoli are thought to have already put contingency plans in place for a new gaffer in the event that Sarri leaves, and the 59-year-old would certainly be a gamble for Chelsea if he was appointed due to having never managed outside of Italy in his managerial career.
The 59-year-old's record, however, speaks for itself. Sarri has recorded 95 wins and 24 draws from 143 matches at Stadio San Paolo and would help to life the gloom at Chelsea if he potentially got off to a good start in the English capital.
Chelsea would have to pay Conte's existing contract off - around £9m - and stump up £7m to prise Sarri out of his contract in Naples, but Abramovich's deep pockets mean that shouldn't be a problem for the Russian oligarch.