What’s the talk?
That’s according to a report by Italian publication Il Messaggero, who claim that the Hammers are currently ‘courting’ the Lazio manager, and could make a concrete move for the 64-year-old in the event that David Sullivan feels that David Moyes‘ time in the London Stadium dugout has run its course – with the Scot under increasing pressure due to the Irons’ poor results.
However, the report goes on to suggest that West Ham are not alone in their pursuit of the former Napoli, Chelsea and Juventus head coach, with Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Atletico Madrid also thought to be keen on the idea of appointing the Italian at the expense of Antonio Conte, Frank Lampard and Diego Simeone respectively.
Considering how much success Sarri has enjoyed at almost every club he has managed, all while getting his teams playing an exciting, free-flowing and attacking brand of football, the argument that the Italian would represent an outstanding successor to Moyes in east London is an extremely easy one to make.
Indeed, the 64-year-old led Napoli – where ‘Sarri-ball‘ first hit the headlines – to three consecutive top-three finishes in Serie A, falling agonisingly short of securing the Gli Azzurri their first Scudetto since 1990 in 2017/18, when the southern Italian side picked up an astonishing 91 points in the league, only to fall four short of Juventus’ 95-point haul.
The former banker would then spend a solitary season at Chelsea, where he would guide the Blues to a third-place finish in the Premier League, as well as winning the Europa League – defeating Arsenal 4-1 in the final.
A stint at Juventus would follow, however, despite guiding the Old Lady to their ninth Serie A triumph in a row, the Italian was relieved of his duties just two weeks after sealing the Scudetto following a round of 16 Champions League defeat against Olympique Lyonnais – with many criticising the club for making the manager a ‘scapegoat‘ for the players’ failures.
Sarri has since begun to rebuild his reputation as one of Italy’s finest coaches at Lazio, guiding the Biancocelesti to a fifth-place finish in his first season in charge at the Stadio Olimpico, while the Rome-based outfit currently occupy sixth place in the Serie A table in the 2022/23 campaign – just four points behind AC Milan in second.
Furthermore, the 64-year-old is quite clearly extremely well respected by many of the game’s brightest minds, with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola dubbing the Italian’s Napoli side as “perhaps the best side I’ve faced in my career” and claiming that he was “in love” with the Serie A side’s style of play, while Jurgen Klopp also praised Sarri back in 2018, stating:
“What a manager he is. I’ve been a fan of him since I saw how they play at Napoli – outstanding football – and you all have seen the impact at Chelsea immediately.”
As such, should Sullivan wish for Moyes’ potential successor at West Ham to get the Hammers playing thrilling, relentless and extremely attractive football, it is indeed easy to make the argument that Sarri would be an outstanding choice to replace the 59-year-old – as the Italian very much appears to be a candidate who could turn the Irons’ current misfortunes around with ease.