Maurizio Sarri ‘Opens Talks’ With AS Roma as Chelsea Future Remains in Doubt

?Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has reportedly been offered the chance to return to Serie A next season to take charge of AS Roma, with his future at Stamford Bridge looking increasingly uncertain.

The Italian boss made a bright start to his time with the Blues, losing just one of his first 19 games, but a recent slump in form has raised questions about whether his style of play is suited to the Premier League.

A defeat to? Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at the weekend may force ?Chelsea’s board of directors into bringing Sarri’s eight-month spell at the club to an end.

Maurizio Sarri

According to reports in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, as quoted by ?Calciomercato, the 60-year-old met with former Tottenham Hotspur technical director Franco Baldini in London to discuss taking over at AS Roma next season.

Any permanent decision by I Giallorossi will depend on whether the ?Serie A club’s director of football Monchi moves to Arsenal or ?Manchester United in the summer. If he does, current manager Eusebio Di Francesco will most likely announce his departure after two years in charge.

Sarri’s first major success in Italian football came during his time in charge of Empoli as he led the side to promotion from Serie B in 2014 before ensuring survival a year later.

Maurizio Sarri

Impressed by his managerial abilities, ?Napoli hired Sarri as a replacement for Rafael Benitez and finished in the top three in Italy’s top-flight on three occasions – narrowly missing out on their first league title in 28 years last season to ?Juventus.

Chelsea’s decision to replace Antonio Conte with his fellow compatriot has yet to pay off, meaning that Roman Abramovich could be hiring his 14th manager since buying the club in 2003.


Lassana Diarra Announces Retirement From Football After Being Released by Paris Saint-Germain

Former France international midfielder Lassana Diarra has officially retired from football after having his contract with Paris Saint-Germain terminated.

The 33-year-old had been on the books at the Parc des Princes for just over a year following his return to Europe in January 2018, having spent the earlier six months playing for UAE side Al-Jazira.

But French giants Paris Saint-Germain announced on Thursday that they had parted ways with Diarra following talks with the midfielder.

Shortly after PSG made their statement, Diarra revealed on social media that he would be retiring from professional football, bringing an end to his 15-year career.

The Frenchman made his name at AC Le Havre before enjoying great success in England. He initially joined Chelsea in 2005 where he would win a Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup before going on to join Arsenal and Portsmouth, winning another FA Cup in 2008.

Diarra was then moved on to Real Madrid and once again he won every domestic trophy available to him whilst in Spain. The 33-year-old eventually went on to move to Russia before taking his first career break.

He returned to play for Olympique de Marseille for 18 months but took his second spell away from the sport in 2017. Within a couple of months, Diarra was playing for Al-Jazira.

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

On top of his club career, Diarra also earned 34 international caps for France. He appeared at Euro 2008 despite never actually making an appearance for Les Bleus and he was most recently called up by Didier Deschamps in May 2016.


Antonio Rudiger Concedes Maurizio Sarri’s Tactical Teachings Have Worn Out Chelsea Squad

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has admitted that Maurizio Sarri’s relentless tactical teachings have occasionally caused mental fatigue within the squad.

The Italian manager has been put under real pressure in the Stamford Bridge dugout following a series of poor performances and even worse results.

And, speaking ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley, Rudiger conceded that the Italian’s insistence on tactical training the morning of a game was causing some mental tiredness within the Blues’ dressing room.

Romelu Lukaku,Antonio Rudiger

“Fatigue, no, because it’s not like we are doing box-to-box runs,” Rudiger said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. 

“It’s not physical. It’s the tactical things he likes to do. That’s his way, he’s carrying on. It’s new for the majority of the players but we have to adapt to it. It’s the same if you sit in the school the whole time listening to someone. Of course, sometimes, it gets mental, but at the end of the day you have to do your job.”

However, he maintained the main issue was the team’s confidence levels, before insisting that he’s prepared to follow Sarri’s tactical plans.


“We are always working in training, trying to do better each day. I think, right now, it’s about confidence. It’s not a tactical aspect, in my view. It’s confidence. We are underperforming.

“On Sunday, a big game against ?City at Wembley. That will show the truth. That will show our way this season. It will be the truth in terms of keeping up with opponents like City, and also Liverpool and Tottenham.

“I’m not the coach, I’m a football player. This is something the coach has to decide and we have to follow. You always play for your manager, but you want results. You want to win. No player on earth likes to have the kind of run we have had.”

It has been made clear that Sarri’s job is on the line heading in to Chelsea’s next two games, with Europa League progression against Malmo a minimum before Sunday’s cup final against a City side that beat them 6-0 almost a fortnight ago at the Etihad Stadium.


FIFA 19 Ultimate Team: Jan Oblak, Kingsley Coman & Krzysztof Piatek Headline TOTW 23

It’s that time of the week again, with EA Sports’ FIFA 19 releasing their brand new team of the week cards for Ultimate Team.

For years now, gamers up and down the country eagerly anticipate the new release of cards rewarding some of the best individual performances from the previous week’s games from around the world.

Here, we spin you through the hottest cards featured in TOTW 23 – including a rather tasty Jan Oblak card and a deserved upgrade for in-form Milan hotshot Krzysztof Piatek.?

Jan Oblak (91)

Jan Oblak

The ?Atletico Madrid custodian has been imperious throughout this 2018/19 campaign, and this was confirmed once again with a clean sheet against Rayo Vallecano. This took his seasonal tally to a mighty 15 from 31 appearances, and his overall total to 108 in 193 Atletico outings. 

This TOTW 23 card hands Oblak a 91 rating, one up from his normal one, with 88 diving, 93 handling, 79 kicking, 90 reflexes, 45 speed and 90 positioning. Tasty stuff. 

Marquinhos (87)


The conquerer of Manchester, Marquinhos put in one of the performances of the season from midfield against Manchester United at Old Trafford, as Paris Saint-Germain strode to a 2-0 victory in their ?Champions League last 16 1st leg. 

Another clean sheet followed in a tricky away clash against St-Etienne, with the Brazilian this time operating from his nominal centre back position. While that is where you’ll likely want to put this 87 rated card in your team, his significantly amplified pace (78) and dribbling (73) may push you to bend convention.

Kingsley Coman (85)

Trent Alexander-Arnold,Kingsley Coman

The French winger is fresh from wowing fans on this side of the channel with his performance against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night in the Champions League, but this hallowed spot was earned from his two-goal showing against Augsburg in the Bundesliga. 

After being struck down with injury at the start of the season, Kingsley Coman is finally showing the world what he can do. With an 85 overall rating, 95 pace, 87 dribbling and 80 shooting, there’s very little he can’t do for your team. 

Radja Nainggolan (86)

Radja Nainggolan

After a difficult start to life at ?Inter following his big money move from Roma and the comparative form of Nicolo Zaniolo, who was included in said deal, Radja Nainggolan looks finally to be settling in with the Nerazzurri. 

His 78th minute score sealed all three points in a tightly contested affair with Sampdoria at San Siro, and his imbued dribbling (83), shooting (81) and physicality (84) should seal a whole load more for your side. 

Krzysztof Piatek (82)


Krzysztof Piatek is the man of the hour at ?AC Milan. After joining from Genoa for €35m in Janaury as a replacement for the Chelsea-bound Gonzalo Higuain, the Polish striker has notched six goals in five games – continuing his extraordinary goalscoring record this season. 

And this TOTW card sufficiently reflects this purple patch of form. With elite pace and shooting (both 84) coupled tantalisingly with slick dribbling (80) and boosted physicality (82), Piatek’s 82 overall card becomes one of the most complete of any of his competitors. 

Honourable Mentions


What would this list be without this man. Mario Balotelli has been electric since joining Olympique de Marseille in January, with three goals from his four games. He continued this form with a glorious back-heel in the build up to his side’s opener against SC Amiens last weekend, and a consummate finish of his own to bag the win. 

The card is equally special. With an 85 overall rating, you’ll be sure Super Mario can recreate this and more in your side. Elsewhere, former West Ham reject Sofiane Feghouli seems to have recovered his pre-Hammers form with Galatasaray, and 87 pace and 85 dribbling on an 82 overall card is not shabby at all. Don’t sleep on the 78 shooting, either.


Maurizio Sarri Speaks Out Over His Chelsea Future and Reveals Plan to Turn Things Around

Maurizio Sarri has insisted he sees his long-term future at Chelsea, and revealed his plans for reviving the Blues from their recent struggles.

Following their disappointing fifth round exit to Manchester United in the FA Cup, Chelsea take on Malmo in the second leg of their Europa League clash on Thursday, looking to regain some much needed momentum.

Maurizio Sarri

With speculation intensifying over Sarri’s position at the club, and suggestions that the club has already ?compiled a three-man shortlist to replace him, the former Napoli boss insisted he sees himself as the Blues’ manager in the foreseeable future.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Italian said (as quoted by the ?club’s official website): “I have to think I will be the manager of ?Chelsea for a long time, otherwise I cannot work. I am not sure [I will be] but I have to think this, because I have to work and I want to work with a long-term target.”

Despite the growing uncertainty over his future, Sarri has not yet met or spoken with Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich or club director Marina Granovskaia.

After receiving wide-spread criticism from Blues fans at Stamford Bridge on Monday night, Sarri revealed the only way to win back the fans was to string a sequence of wins together.

He admitted: “We need to win three or four matches in a row. It’s the only solution. I can understand very well the frustration of our fans. They are used to winning, and now we are in trouble. There isn’t another way. We only have to have good performances and good results.

“In this moment it’s very difficult to think we can win three or four matches in a row, but in football everything can change in one day. First of all we need a good performance and result, and then with more confidence we are able to do everything.