Javi Gracia Chelsea Oppo
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If the press are to be believed, Chelsea could be about to lose Maurizio Sarri. According to sources like talkSport, the Italian coach will join Juventus in the coming days, with the Italian side paying out his remaining £5m of contract.

That leaves Chelsea in a tricky position, especially with a transfer ban in place. Javi Gracia is the man mentioned today, with the Watford boss bubbling up in the whispers again having been first mentioned in the Spring.

It’s not a popular choice with a lot of Chelsea fans, who are expecting a big name. But there are reasons in his favour too.

Our primary consideration is that, with a transfer ban in place, we may simply just not be able to attract the managers we want. Max Allegri or whoever may say no to taking on this risky project, but for Gracia this would be a step up. He will happily try his luck with us just to get a shot at the big time.

Secondly, the ban will mean he’s working with this same group of players. So far, unlikely Sarri who plays a very specific style, Gracia has proven to be adaptable and able to make the most of what he has. He’s played a variety of systems so far, and has shown great tactical acumen coming out of a Spanish school of football.

Thirdly, he will be cheap and easy to hire and if it’s a short term fix we’re looking for, waiting to see how Frank Lampard develops and which top managers are available next year when we can buy players again, there aren’t many superior cheap options who could do a job for 12 months. Either he succeeds, or you can get rid of him for a minimal payoff.

Maybe he’s not an inspirational choice, but as a transitional option he makes a lot of sense.

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