LONDON — Maurizio Sarri has said he wants to stay at Chelsea next season despite Roma’s reported interest in appointing him this summer.
Supporter hostility has overshadowed Sarri’s first season in England, but the Italian has led Chelsea to a top-four finish in the Premier League and is on the brink of the Europa League final, having only lost the Carabao Cup final on penalties.
Reports in Italy and England this week claimed that Roma are interested in hiring Sarri to replace Claudio Ranieri as manager this summer, but Chelsea’s head coach said he has no desire to leave Stamford Bridge.
“As I said in every press conference, I want to stay here,” Sarri said ahead of Chelsea’s second-leg clash with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semifinals. “I like very much English football, the atmosphere in the stadiums.
“And so, if I can, I want to stay here. My target is to stay in English football at the moment.”
Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Watford on Sunday secured the return of Champions League football to Stamford Bridge with a game to spare, thanks to the slip-ups of Manchester United and Arsenal.
Sarri’s focus has now switched to Chelsea’s bid for Europa League glory. A 1-1 draw in Frankfurt last Thursday has put them in a strong position to reach the final in Baku, but the ex-Napoli boss is wary of the threat Eintracht still pose.
“We reached the target of the club, and so we are really very happy with this,” Sarri added. “Now we have to play in another competition and the target is to reach the final — the first target — and the final target will be to win the competition.
“Our feeling is that we deserve to win a trophy, so it’s a very important match, of course. We have to play to win, without managing the results. That’s too dangerous [to do]. It’s not easy because we play a very dangerous team, as we saw in the first leg.
“They are very dynamic and aggressive in the defensive phase, and dangerous in the offensive phase especially when they find spaces on the counter-attack. So it’s a dangerous match.”
Chelsea will have to see off Eintracht without N’Golo Kante, who was forced off in the first half against Watford with a hamstring injury.
“Kante had a problem with his hamstring, not really a very serious one but he needs to rest for a couple of weeks,” Sarri said. “So we can try to recover him only in case we reach the final. We can try. I am not sure, but we can try.”