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Sarri pledges to stay and improve Chelsea with full pre-season

23:30 SAST 2019/04/27
Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2018-19
The Blues boss championed his long-term future at Stamford Bridge as he aims to be in the dugout next season

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri believes he deserves to remain in his position and that he can improve the club's fortunes with a proper pre-season behind him.

The Blues manager believes that the lack of opportunity to fully bed himself in ahead of the current campaign has undermined his efforts, after it took protracted negotiations to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

The Italian joined from Napoli alongside midfielder Jorginho after eventually agreeing terms with the Premier League outfit, but was forced to miss a week of pre-season due to the delays.

Chelsea are currently locked in a tussle with Arsenal and Manchester United for fourth place and a spot in next year’s Champions League, with the Red Devils making the visit to London to face Chelsea on Sunday.

Despite their struggles to maintain pace with league leaders Liverpool and Manchester City, Sarri believes this season has been a success for the club and he wishes to stay for the next campaign.

“English football is different,” the 60-year-old told reporters at Cobham Training Centre. "I don't want to say better or worse, but it is different.

"The Premier League is wonderful. I want to remain in the Premier League and I want to remain at Chelsea because the level is very high.

"The atmosphere in the stadiums is really fantastic. It is a wonderful championship and I would like to remain here.”

If Sarri remains at the club he will be forced to contend with a potential transfer ban handed down by FIFA, which remains unsuspended while Chelsea go through the appeal process.

The former Empoli boss however feels that he will be able to advance his current crop of players through pre-season, rather than bringing fresh blood in, even if the sanctions are lifted.

"I think [I can improve them] because we had only two or three weeks working," he stated. "At the end of August, we started to play every three days.

“In Naples, I was able to have a pre-season with 60 training sessions for the defensive line. Here I had about 11 or 12 sessions in the first period. So that's a big difference.

“I needed the time to get used to English football. It is normal and it can happen. Now in the next season, I will be able to give more to my players."

Sarri did caution that the improvement Chelsea require to be able to compete with City and other title contenders would not come instantaneously and that they need time to improve.

“I am sure that in two seasons we will be able to be close to them,” he added. “I am not sure in two seasons that we will be able to be better.

"When I arrived in Naples, Napoli in the table in the season before were 24 points away from Juventus. In the first season we were nine points away, in the second season we were six points and in the third season, we were four points.

"For us, it was impossible to cover that gap completely. At the end of the third season, we were very close to them.

"We are predictable I think. We need to learn to move the ball at another speed. Of course, if we want to move the ball so fast, we need more movements off the ball.”

Serie A side Roma are understood to be interested in Sarri should he depart English football this summer.