Former Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri reportedly could have ruined Romelu Lukaku’s return to Stamford Bridge two years ahead of his move back to the capital.
The Belgian forward, who became Chelsea’s record signing earlier this summer in a big-money move from Italian giants Inter Milan, has enjoyed a quick start to life back in west London.
He netted on his debut, with his record sitting at four goals in eight appearances in all competitions under Thomas Tuchel.
Lukaku has certainly filled the vacancy of the clinical striker that the Blues desperately needed heading into the campaign.
However, it might not have turned out like that if Sarri had his way in 2019.
Having left Chelsea, the Italian was swiftly appointed as Juventus boss and was seemingly aiming for a big summer during his first season in charge.
According to CalcioMercato, Juve were interested in signing Lukaku – then of Manchester United – and were vying with Inter Milan for his signature.
It is suggested that the then Italian champions were willing to offer Paulo Dybala to the Red Devils in exchange for the Belgian – the only problem being that the Argentine was not fully convinced of a switch to Old Trafford.
In the end, Dybala rejected the move and Lukaku instead became an Inter Milan player, going on to score 64 goals for the club and lifting the Serie A crown.
Of course, had he ended up going to Juventus instead, it might have been considerably more difficult for Chelsea to secure a deal; the Blues taking advantage of the Nerazzuri’s financial woes to secure his signature in the summer.
Marina Granovskaia and Thomas Tuchel will certainly be thankful then that his destination in 2019 was Milan instead of Turin and that Sarri failed in his efforts to take Lukaku to the Juventus Stadium.
In the time since, Lukaku has played six matches against Juventus and scored just once – the most recent outing being Chelsea’s Champions League group stage defeat.