Sarri aims for long-term future at Chelsea
The 59-year-old wants to start his Blues tenure by winning the Community Shield.
Maurizio Sarri knows even winning trophies is no guarantee of a lengthy stay at Chelsea.
Like his immediate predecessors Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, Sarri envisages a long-term future at Stamford Bridge.
“It depends on the club. (If) I want to stay here for 10 years, then I have to win,” the head coach said.
“Then it depends on the club. But I want to stay here for a long time.”
Whether the 59-year-old former Napoli boss outlasts Mourinho, Chelsea’s most successful manager, or Conte, sacked last month after two trophies in two seasons, remains to be seen.
Sarri has won plaudits, but not a trophy, in his managerial career, so may place more emphasis on winning Sunday’s Community Shield with Manchester City.
“I think it’s very important to start with a trophy,” Sarri added.
“It’s also important that the performance is a step forward. Clearly for me it’s very important to win something.”
Sarri wants to narrow the gap to City. Chelsea won the FA Cup in Conte’s final match in charge, after finishing fifth as City won the league title at a canter.
“In this moment it’s a very difficult match,” Sarri said.
“We can try to reduce the gap in the future with work. I think my job is to try to improve my players and so we will have to work for this target, to reduce the gap.”
The transfer window for Premier League clubs closes just a few days after the game.
Sarri added: “I talked with the club about the market but only one time, maybe two times. No more.
“We spoke about positions, about characteristics, no names. So I don’t know. I think we need something. But maybe only a player.”
And keeping Chelsea’s leading talents is the priority.
On Willian's return to training, he says: 'I spoke to him yesterday about [being late]. It was a very positive conversation and I am very happy about it. There is not a Willian problem.' He is 'very confident' the Brazilian will remain a Chelsea man. #CommunityShield— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 3, 2018
Willian cut a forlorn figure at times under Conte and has been linked with Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid this summer. He reported late for Chelsea duty after the World Cup.
“There is not a Willian problem,” Sarri said.
“I spoke yesterday (Thursday) with him about his lateness, not about his future. It was a very positive conversation. I am happy about it.”
Thibaut Courtois is due to return to Chelsea training this weekend after helping Belgium finish third at the World Cup and being voted the best goalkeeper at Russia 2018.
The 26-year-old has a year to run on his current contract and has been continually linked with a move prior to the summer transfer window closing, with Real Madrid rumoured to be his most likely destination if he is sold.
“At the moment Courtois is the goalkeeper of the club, of Chelsea,” Sarri added.
“I don’t know in the future. It depends on the club. It depends especially on him, I think.
“But, I hope that Courtois will be our goalkeeper. It’s very important for us to keep the top players.”
Sarri on the #CommunityShield: 'First of all, I am looking forward to play at Wembley. It's my first time. The match will be very difficult for us. I want to win. It's very important to have immediately a trophy.'— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 3, 2018
The futures of Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante have been the subject of speculation, too, with both set to return this weekend but not in time to feature in Sunday’s Community Shield with Manchester City.
Sarri admits City are also hindered by players absent on post-World Cup breaks, but the situation contrasts with Chelsea’s as he is new to the role.
Cesc Fabregas may miss out due to a minor knee problem.