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Maurizio Sarri is reportedly in contention for a Premier League comeback at Everton this summer, although the Toffees will have to beat Lazio if they’re to appoint the former Chelsea chief.
Carlo Ancelotti left Goodison Park on short notice to become Real Madrid manager for a second time earlier this week, forcing Everton to assess their options ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Lazio are also in search of a new manager following Simone Inzaghi’s decision to leave last month, stepping down after five seasons in charge of the Rome outfit.
Calciomercato reported Sarri has until Friday to inform the Biancocelesti of his decision, having not managed since he was sacked by Juventus in August 2020.
Ancelotti’s departure saw Everton lose one of the most decorated coaches in the sport, the Italian having won the Champions League title three times as a manager (and twice as a player).
Sarri—who took Napoli to three consecutive top-three finishes in Serie A—clinched the Scudetto in his only season at Juventus, who slumped to a fourth-place league finish under his immediate successor, Andrea Pirlo.
The 62-year-old also spent just one year in west London, guiding Chelsea to the Europa League title, a runner-up finish in the League Cup and third place in the Premier League.
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That 2018/19 campaign was Sarri’s only venture outside his native Italy thus far in his career.
Speaking with the Italian edition of Vanity Fair shortly before he left Chelsea for Juve, 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.
“When I return home to Tuscany I feel like a stranger. I have slept 30 nights there in the last few years.”
That longing for home comforts could see Lazio gain the edge in their hunt for a new coach, as will the fact they’ll feature in next season’s Europa League following a sixth-place Serie A finish.
Ancelotti could only take the Toffees to 10th in the Premier League last season, although their 59 points was the highest tally they’ve amassed since the 2016/17 campaign (61).
A move to the Stadio Olimpico could also prove tempting considering Jose Mourinho is set to take over Lazio’s fiercest rivals, Roma.
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Arsenal and Tottenhamhave also been linked with free agent Sarri, with the latter still without a manager after they fired Mourinho in April.
Sarri could become the fifth permanent manager installed at Goodison Park since the summer of 2016, with Roberto Martinez (2013-16) being the last coach to lead the club for at least two seasons.
Everton will have to ask fast if they are to win the race for his signature, however, with Lazio applying pressure in their efforts to appoint Inzaghi’s heir.
READ MORE: Premier League merry-go-round update as Spurs, Everton, Wolves and Palace eye new bosses
READ MORE: Carlo Ancelotti's row over "egotistic" Gareth Bale could hint at his Real Madrid future
- Everton FC
- Premier League
- Serie A
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