Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson expects Maurizio Sarri to lose his job this summer, and believes Frank Lampard would be a ‘great choice’ as the next Blues manager.
Sarri has been described as a ‘dead man walking’ as Chelsea boss, despite leading the club to a third place Premier League finish and to the Europa League final.
After a roller-coaster campaign there is a growing sense that, even if the Blues beat Arsenal to lift the trophy in Baku, the cigarette filter-chewing boss will be given the boot.
Sarri still has two years remaining on his contract in west London and has said he would be ‘very happy’ to stay at the club, although the 60-year-old has also admitted he is flattered to be linked with a move to Juventus.
But Johnson just can’t see Sarri keeping his job this summer.
“I do think the club have made their mind up already,” the former right-back to talkSPORT host Jim White.
“Sarri hasn’t done a bad job, I just think there are a few personalities that are clashing at Chelsea.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
Recently relegated Girona eye move for Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa
Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben's odds slashed to move to Premier League club
Chelsea transfer news live: Done deal, Blues want Palace duo, striker update
Spurs transfer news live: Asensio 'wanted' and Suso linked with £33m move
Arsenal transfer news live: 'Dream' signings named, Zaha 'will go', Fraser bid
Man United release spine tingling fan footage of treble win to advertise new kit
Is Barcelona vs Valencia on TV? Live stream, TV channel info, kick-off time, venue
'Zidane is the best man to manage Pogba – he won't stay at Man United'
“If they win the final, you’d say it’s a positive season.
“But I don’t think it’s about the results, it’s just the way they’re getting the results.”
And he has backed former team-mate Lampard to return to Stamford Bridge as the Italian’s replacement.
The Blues legend has emerged as a surprise candidate for the role after a successful debut season in management, having taken Derby County to the Championship play-off final for a shot at Premier League football.
Lampard is now the bookmakers’ favourite and his appointment would no doubt be a popular one with supporters, many of whom are no fans of their current boss.
And even though he believes it has come too soon in his coaching career, Johnson wants the former midfielder to get the job.
“I think Lampard will definitely be Chelsea manager one day, and it might be sooner than I anticipated,” he said.
“Could he do the job? Now might be slightly too early and I’m sure Lamps would probably agree with that, but I definitely think he’ll be capable of being successful as the Chelsea manager.
“I personally think it’s too early, but I could also see it happening. It’s exciting.
“I actually want him to get the job, I think he’d be great there.”
Johnson believes Lampard would be the perfect man to ‘get Chelsea back on its feet’ after a tumultuous season, which has seen the Sarri clash with senior players and the club hit with a transfer ban by UEFA.
“He is Mr Chelsea, he cares about the club and he would be interested in the youth teams and be the link between all the age groups and get the club back on its feet,” he added.
“As a person he’s a fantastic bloke and in the dressing room as a player he was brilliant, for me especially when I first signed for Chelsea. He was great.
“I remember on the first day in training I gave the ball away and somebody said to me: ‘Come on son, you’re not at West Ham now, you’ve got to liven up’.
“But Lamps was just like: ‘Just keep doing whatever you did to get yourself here’. That’s always stuck with me and that just shows you what sort of person he is.”