Sarri switch to Juventus clears way for Lampard
One of the worst-kept secrets in football was finally confirmed as Chelsea announced Maurizio Sarri has left the club to join Juventus, clearing the managerial path for Frank Lampard to make a heroic return to Stamford Bridge.
Lampard ranges from 1-9 to 1-25 to replace Sarri, who was desperate to swap the Premier League for Serie A following a turbulent debut season in English football.
On the face of it finishing third, reaching the Carabao Cup final and winning the Europa League represented a fine campaign for Sarri. But the Italian failed to connect with the Chelsea faithful and endured supporters occasionally calling for his head.
As well as the opportunity to enjoy home comforts back in Italy, Sarri also has a much greater chance of success with his new club according to the odds.
Juve are 10-1 to win the Champions League while Chelsea are available at 33-1 after selling Eden Hazard to Real Madrid and battling against a two-window incoming transfer ban.
It certainly won't be plain sailing for Sarri at Juventus from a personal point of view as he previously coached Napoli in a tetchy title tussle which eventually went north to Turin.
Sarri faces traitor taunts from the Naples fanatics but the betting suggests he can silence the critics. Champions Juve are 4-6 to win Serie A next season with Napoli 6-1 shots.
Lampard will have none of those issues, assuming a deal can be sorted with his current club Derby, who he led to the Sky Bet Championship playoff final.
Chelsea's record goalscorer is unlikely to turn down Roman Abramovich's advances but if he does decide to remain at Pride Park former Blues boss Rafael Benitez, a 9-1 chance, is seen as the man next most likely to fill the vacancy.
Whoever comes in faces a difficult assignment without Hazard weaving his magic and another Premier League star could also be on the move as Manchester United's Paul Pogba has saud: "I think it could be a good time to have a new challenge."
Betway and Sky Bet rate Pogba 4-5 to join Hazard at Real Madrid before the close of the summer transfer window, while Paddy Power reacted by offering 7-5 that the enigmatic French World Cup winner remains at United for the start of the Premier League campaign.
A return to Juve, linking up with Sarri and Cristiano Ronaldo, is 4-1.
Pogba's earnings and transfer fee, combined with the financial requirements of his super agent Mino Raiola will make a switch from Old Trafford difficult unless some of those demands are lowered.
However, Pogba remains Zinedine Zidane's primary target to reinforce Real Madrid's midfield even if the Bernabeu bean-counters would prefer a cheaper alternative such as Christian Eriksen.