Despite coming away from his debut Premier League season with a respectable third-place finish and the Europa League trophy, the future of Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is far from certain.
He has enjoyed a sometimes less than savoury relationship with the Chelsea fans, who have failed to fall in love with the eponymous Sarri-ball this season.
With the managerial posts at Juventus now open and the Old Lady ready to take him back to Italy, Sarri appears set to leave London and return home.
If the chain-smoking Italian does decide to leave for pastures new, Chelsea will be in the hunt for manager number 12 of the Roman Abramovich era, at a time when a potential transfer ban looms large over Stamford Bridge.
This ban makes Chelsea a less-attractive prospect to the big names like Massimiliano Allegri, who would like to bring in some signings and make the squad their own. Luckily for the Blues, they have an army of loanees returning to the club this summer, so any potential new gaffer will have plenty to work with.
Who you taking?— (@FlicksLikeEden) June 4, 2019
Max Allegri, Laurent Blanc, Nuno Espírito Santo, Javi Gracia, Frank Lampard and Steve Holland.
The Chelsea bosses will have drawn up a long list of replacements for Sarri, with the net being cast far and wide in the search of a new boss, from former Juventus boss Allegri to club legend Frank Lampard. But, could Chelsea turn their attention to someone already in the Premier League?
The Spaniard has impressed in his time in charge of the Hornets, with his side playing some good attacking football whilst also giving them some defensive solidity and tactical versatility.
He's also been canny with how he has spent the money given to him with Gerard Deulofeu and Ben Foster looking like shrewd acquisitions last summer. He's also improved the players he's had at his disposal, a valuable trait for a manger to have if you have an impending transfer ban.
His coaching ability has also been on display during his time at Watford as players such as Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah have improved under Gracia's tutelage, with the latter having made his debut for the senior national side.
With Chelsea's hoard of young players returning from their loans, Gracia would have the opportunity to work with some of Europe's hottest young talent, with current Chelsea stars Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek looking to get more minutes under their belts than they enjoyed this season.
The 49-year-old likes his teams to play a more direct style of football than maybe Chelsea fans are used to, but could be effective with the players Chelsea have in their squad. Yet, Gracia has shown to be adaptable during his time at Watford, something that can't be said for current incumbent Sarri.
Javi Gracia may not be the most A-list choice and may not grab all the headlines, but the Watford boss would be an astute acquisition. He has Premier League experience and is a coach that gets the best out of his players whilst also improving the youngsters at his disposal.
His tactical adaptability will be important if Chelsea's transfer ban is upheld, making the Spaniard an attractive anproposition should Sarri leave.
Source : 90min