Report: Roman Abramovich stopped Marina Granovskaia from re-appointing Maurizio Sarri following Frank Lampard's dismissal

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Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia had eyed a potential return for Maurizio Sarri as manager following Frank Lampard's departure in January.

The 62-year-old was replaced as head coach by Lampard in 2019 after just one season in charge, during which he led his group to Europa League glory and a third-place finish in the Premier League.

However, it has emerged that a return to Stamford Bridge for Sarri was on the cards after Lampard was shown the door at the back end of January, and that the Italian boss had even agreed to move back to west London.

"Chelsea, after having dismissed Lampard, wanted the coach [Sarri] back,” said Italian journalist Ciro Venerato, in an interview with RAI Sport, as relayed by Area Napoli via Sport Witness.

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Marina Granovskaia, in particular, fought for the return of the coach. Sarri had said yes to Chelsea. However, Roman Abramovich stopped everything. Sarri’s wife and son are pushing for a return to Naples."

A host of managerial names were linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the days leading to Lampard's sacking, such as Julian Nagelsmann, Ralph Hasenhüttl, Brendan Rodgers and Ralf Rangnick.

However, Thomas Tuchel, who was relieved of his duties as PSG boss in December, was brought in after a dismal run of form under the Englishman. 

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Sarri, who was relieved of his duties as Juventus boss last summer, has been tipped for a return to Naples with pressure mounting on current manager Gennaro Gattuso.

He was appointed Chelsea boss in the summer of 2018 after a disappointing campaign under Antonio Conte, which saw the Blues finish trophyless just a season on from a winning the Premier League and the League Cup. 

There have been multiple reports suggesting that one of the key reasons that Tuchel was brought in mid-season was to get the best out of German duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, the pair of whom have yet failed to justify their hefty price tag since their switch from Germany last summer.

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