Napoli defender Koulibaly tells Chelsea: You must give Sarri time


Maurizio Sarri is close to becoming Chelsea's new manager.

Chelsea are expected to announce their decision on a new manager soon with Sarri making much of the headlines as Antonio Conte's replacement. However, the Chelsea board are uncertain about signing the marksman, having deemed him too old and expensive last summer.

Chelsea want to give Sarri enough time before the season starts to build the squad to his desire and the Blues are already being linked with some high profile Serie A players, including Napoli's Dries Mertens. The 31-year-old was somewhat of a journeyman before settling in Naples, playing for five different clubs in Belgium and Holland before joining the Ciucciarelli in 2013.

Mocked Ronaldo bronze statue replaced
The Portugal captain was "celebrated" by a commemorative statue at Madeira airport, which has been renamed in Ronaldo's honour . Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport now sees the new sculpture take pride of place at the entrance of the terminal.

Sarri is said to have told those close to him that he wants to secure the Belgium worldwide, though. The Chelsea board are more interested in exploring younger attacking options like Anthony Martial of Manchester United and Christian Pulisic of Borussia Dortmund.

The playmaker hit the headlines with a stunning free kick goal against Arsenal last season and another during a fine display in Russia's 5-0 World Cup win over Saudi Arabia. With Pedro's Chelsea future uncertain as well, the need to bolster attack is urgent, with Mertens a possible solution on the right side of attack, where he will be able to link up with global teammate Eden Hazard. It now remains to be seen if Sarri is able to convince the Chelsea board to sign Mertens and kick-start their transfer spending for the summer. Sarri's agents have been in London to talk over the details of a deal.

Whether it be as a coach or on the technical side, Zola's return would go down well with both the fans and the players.