Ranieri backs Sarri to succeed at Chelsea

Claudio Ranieri, who spent four years at Stamford Bridge before he was sacked in 2004, said Chelsea target Maurizio Sarri can be a success.

Former Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri   -  Getty Images

Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri believes ex-Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri can succeed at Stamford Bridge if appointed by the Premier League side.

Sarri was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli amid growing links with Chelsea, where fellow Italian Antonio Conte is tipped to leave.

The 59-year-old Sarri – who has reportedly held talks with Chelsea – guided Napoli to their second runners-up finish in three seasons, having threatened to dethrone Serie A champions Juventus this term.

Ranieri – a Premier League-winning manager with Leicester City – spent four years at Chelsea before he was sacked in 2004 and he warned Sarri about owner Roman Abramovich.

"Sarri to Chelsea? It depends what Maurizio is like. He'll see little or nothing of the president," Ranieri, who left Ligue 1 outfit Nantes after just one season, told Sky Italia.

"He'll have to work hard, and that's not something he lacks.

"Sarri has done well at every level, including Empoli where people said he wasn't ready for big teams.

"Now they know him all over Europe and I'm sure he can take his football and his philosophy anywhere."

Ranieri was also asked about Napoli's appointment of former AC Milan, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich head coach Ancelotti.

Ancelotti is reportedly set to be backed heavily in the transfer market by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Ranieri said: "I was a bit surprised, I imagined Carlo abroad.

"I have to congratulate De Laurentiis who has pulled off a big coup, because he's brought the most decorated Italian coach, who has won so much abroad, to Napoli."