Blues suffer Maurizio Sarri blow amid Antonio Conte uncertainty

Chelsea could land Higuain if Sarri appointed

Amid concern over Antonio Conte's future at Stamford Bridge, Sarri has been seen as a ideal candidate to interchange his fellow Italian in west London after taking Napoli to inside a whisker of the Serie A title.

Napoli, however, will not impose a release clause for clubs keen to poach the 59-year-old, who was born and raised in Naples and prior to taking the job at San Paolo coached at the likes of Pescara, Perugia and Empoli.

Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has held talks about a new contract with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Their new agreement is a significant blow to Roman Abramovich and Chelsea should they elect to - as is expected - part ways with current manager Conte this summer.

Conte has been linked with Real Madrid, but Zinedine Zidane's position looks more secure than earlier in the season with the club just one victory away from a third straight Champions League win.

Juventus supervisor Massimiliano Allegri was one other in addition to Sarri on the membership's shortlist, with rivals Arsenal additionally curiosity as they search a alternative for Arsene Wenger.

The lack of results at Chelsea have sparked a tide of change as manager Antonio Conte will not be returning next season.

The Blues face Manchester United in the FA Cup final this Saturday (5.15pm) looking to make amends for a disappointing Premier League season.

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