There appears to be an impasse in what seemed a foregone conclusion for Maurizio Sarri’s appointment as the next Chelsea manager. Multiple reports state that the club are tired of Napoli’s negotiations over Sarri’s compensation fee and that they will now switch their gaze elsewhere, whilst at the same time hoping that the wily Italian can somehow wrangle his way out of a deal with the Naples-based club.

The big news on Tuesday morning for Blues fans, via the Metro, is that Chelsea are getting close to appointing former Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc as the manager to ultimately replace the seemingly forgotten Antonio Conte.

Laurent Blanc, 52, has been out of work since last managing Paris Saint-Germain to three Ligue 1 titles in-a-row, as well as domestic success with a Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue. Prior to three seasons in Paris, Laurent Blanc was the manager of the France national squad for two years and also managed Bordeaux – impressively winning the Ligue 1 title there too in 2009.

One snag though for Laurent Blanc is that his former right-hand man at PSG, Jean-Louis Gasset is not available to join him at Stamford Bridge, with the Frenchman wanting to remain with his current post at Saint-Etienne instead.

Getting Blanc’s backroom staff in-order before confirming Chelsea’s advances is likely to be another reason for the delay in proceedings. All of this is ultimately proving frustrating for fans, in what many will feel is damaging for the club with rivals stealing a march in the transfer market ahead of the new season.

The Metro via Italian news source Sportitalia claim that Maurizio Sarri though is still their number one target and are holding out on announcing an alternative manager (likely Laurent Blanc) for a few days in the hope that the Sarri situation can resolve itself to something more in favour of the Blues’ negotiating stance.