Reports emanating from Italy this afternoon suggest that Juventus remain optimistic over the possibility of Maurizio Sarri returning to the bench for their high-profile meeting with Napoli this weekend.
On the back of a somewhat perplexing stint in the Premier League with Chelsea last season, Italian tactician Sarri made a return to his home country back in June.
The 60-year-old was the man chosen to replace Max Allegri at Juventus, despite his strong Napoli ties.
Sarri’s philosophy had since been increasingly-evident in the Bianconeri’s final pre-season outings, with Juve’s stars having been seen to be making a conscious effort to focus less on the tactical side of the game, and more on moving the ball fluently and with incisiveness.
Sarri taken ill
The Old Lady’s preparations came in anticipation of their Serie A opener this past weekend, with the Italian champions having got the defence of their title underway with a trip to Parma on Saturday evening.
Juve’s new era, however, got started without their new boss overseeing proceedings.
The Turin giants confirmed last week that Sarri had been diagnosed with pneumonia.
The Bianconeri nevertheless managed to get their campaign underway with a 1-0 win, but their next test, versus title-challengers Napoli, will no doubt prove a far sterner test.
Sarri, though, had also been expected to be absent for his former side’s visit to Turin.
Maurizio Sarri will not be on the bench for Parma and Napoli.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 22, 2019
As per updates across the Italian media this afternoon, however, the Juve boss may yet hand his side a boost.
According to La Stampa (via Football-Italia), Sarri is hopeful of taking his seat on the bench on Saturday night.
The Italian is said to be recovering ‘quickly’, with a final call on his potential involvement to arrive no later than Friday night.