MAURIZIO SARRI is targeting signing another of his former players despite the threat of the Chelsea sack hanging over him, it has been claimed.
Sarri is growing under increasing pressure in his position at Stamford Bridge with the club’s top four hopes in the Premier League hanging in the balance.
But according to reports in Italy the Chelsea boss is pressing ahead with planning for next season by looking at Inter Milan star Matias Vecino.
Tuttosport say the Uruguayan midfielder is one of Sarri’s top targets to bring in at Stamford Bridge over the summer.
But whether Chelsea will be in a position to sign anyone in the close season is hugely debatable given they have been hit with a transfer ban by Fifa.
The club are appealing the stiff sentence handed down to them for breaking regulations over the signings of young players – but at the moment they are unable to bring in any new faces.
Sarri has pressed ahead with scouting possible targets in any case as the club desperately fight to overturn the ruling.
And it is claimed he wants to bring in Venico, 27, in a £26million deal as he looks to sign another player he has worked with in the past.
The Italian brought in Jorginho from old club Napoli last summer, and followed that up by signing Gonzalo Higuain in January.
And if he does follow through on his interest in Venico, who he worked with at Empoli, it would be the third former player Sarri has drafted in at Stamford Bridge.
The big problem for the 60-year-old, however, is that although he is working on next season he might not get the chance to carry out his plans.
For there is mounting pressure on his position, as the Blues stutter in the league and currently lie in sixth place.
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Champions League football is vital to the club, and if they miss out on qualification it could spell the end for Sarri in charge.
The one saving grace is they still have the chance to seal a spot in the competition if they win the Europa League season, where they have been drawn to face Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals.
But amid concerns over his refusal to adapt his style of football, and with some fans planning to boycott home matches in protest, even lifting that trophy may not be enough to save his job.