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Maurizio Sarri: "The call of home is strong"

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The Italian could be returning to Italy this summer

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted that he misses Italy, as rumours of him taking charge of Juventus continue to intensify. The 60-year-old - who only joined Chelsea last summer after leaving Napoli - is reportedly set to take charge of Juve after the Serie A champions parted company with Massimiliano Allegri last week.

Sarri's future at Stamford Bridge has been a topic of debate for some time now, with many Blues fans struggling to warm to the Italian due to his style of football. Chelsea ended up finishing third in the Premier League last season, thus cementing their position in next season's Champions League, reached the final of the League Cup in February and won the Europa League last Wednesday after comfortably beating Arsenal 4-1 in Baku.

On paper, this season has been one of relative success for the Blues, though it could be a case too little too late now for Sarri in west London. After many of the club's supporters turned on him so quickly earlier in the season, the damage may already be done and could be irreparable.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Sarri said: "For us Italians the call of home is strong"

"I feel that something is missing. It has been a heavy year. I begin to feel the weight of distant friends and elderly parents I rarely see.

"But at my age, I only make professional choices. I won't be able to work for 20 years. It's hard work, the bench."

Maurizio Sarri
The Italian admitted that he is missing home amid Juventus interest.

Sarri also spoke about his bond with Napoli fans, almost a year on from departing the San Paolo Stadium for English shores.

"The Neapolitans know the love I feel for them. I chose to move abroad last year and not to go on an Italian team

"The relationship will not change. Loyalty is giving 110% when you are there. What does it mean to be faithful?"

Despite continued speculation, Sarri does feel as though he deserves to remain at Chelsea.

"I need to talk to the club and make sure I know what I can do for Chelsea and what Chelsea can do for me," he said.

"I love the Premier League and I'm lucky I'm at Chelsea but at the end of each season you have to sit down and talk.

"In my opinion, I deserve to stay at Chelsea but my opinion is not enough." [BBC Sport]

Should Sarri make the move back to Italy this summer, current Derby boss Frank Lampard is the favourite to replace him at Stamford Bridge.

The former England international has enjoyed a promising start to life in the managerial hot seat, guiding the Rams to a sixth-placed finish in the Championship before reaching the play-off final last month, narrowly losing to Aston Villa at Wembley.

Watford manager Gavi Gracia is another candidate after his success at Watford last season. The Spaniard oversaw the Hornets as they finished 11th in the Premier League - while also reaching the final of the FA Cup - where they were well beaten by Manchester City.