If we lived in the fictional dystopia of Panem, and for the sake of this argument let's assume the Hunger Games folks loved football, this time of year would most definitely be the Quarter Quell. However, instead of past champions fighting for their lives in the Hunger Games, it's football clubs and managers seeking sponsorship from one another, desperately hoping for some fresh water or tracker jacker antivenom, or failing that, you know, maybe just a job.
While Roma and their interim manager Claudio Ranieri are parting ways on somewhat amicable terms, the same cannot be said for his countryman, Maurizio Sarri, the subject of intense sacking rumors throughout the majority of his first season in the Premiership.
Fueled by his supposed rift with Stamford Bridge loyalists, a conflagration made worse when it appeared Chelsea would miss the Champions League next season, the Sarri experiment seemed destined to flounder before it really got off the ground.
However, with the club's stated objectives for this season met—qualifying for the Champions League—it seemed like everything was copacetic between Sarri and his employers. Still, with rumors of a spoiled relationship with the fan base, rumors continue to swirl around Sarri's future.
On his job prospects for next year, Sarri was understandably uncertain:
I think but I am not sure...I don’t know. I can say only that the club asked me to get into the Champions League, and we reached the target. As you know very well, I love English football.
Source: The Guardian
While the English press seems to be towing a middle line, the Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia) speculates that Abramovich is considering sacking Sarri due to his "troubled” relationship with Chelsea fans.
The GdS goes on to speculate Sarri could be tempted by Roma, Milan or even Juventus should they move on from Max Allegri.
Of course, we have to take all of this with a tremendous grain of salt. With rumors of a complete Roma reset, one has to wonder if Sarri would really want to take on a full reclamation project, so even if he is set free there is no assurance Roma would tickle his fancy.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the club at the moment, hiring the right manager is perhaps more critical than ever, so we really have to read these rumors with a critical eye.
Sarri would be a great choice, but it would take a hell of a sell job from Roma to woo him.