Confirmed: Former Arsenal Chief Ivan Gazidis jets into London to hold surprise transfer talks

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Ivan Gazidis is set to hold face-to-face talks with Maurizio Sarri as he steps up his plans to secure a replacement for current AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso.

The former Arsenal chief executive joined the Italian club in September after overseeing the recruitment process which saw Unai Emery replace Arsene Wenger at the Emirates.

Milan are still in with a chance of securing Champions League qualification following consecutive victories against Bologna and Fiorentina, but Gattuso is expected to depart in the summer, even if he is able to secure fourth spot ahead of Atalanta with two games of the domestic campaign remaining.

Despite masterminding Chelsea third place finish in the Premier League and a Europa League final against Arsenal on the horizon, Sarri’s future at Chelsea is far from certain following a series of spats with high-profile players and failing to build a rapport with the club’s fans.

The former Napoli coach’s stock in Italy remains, high, however, and Milan are hoping to beat Roma to his services should Roman Abramovich call time on Sarri’s time at Stamford Bridge.

Milan are, according to Sport Mediaset, prepared to offer the 60-year-old a salary worth €3million-a-year after tax, while Chelsea, who have been slapped with a two window transfer ban, are said to be considering moves for Watford’s Javi Gracia and club legend Frank Lampard whose Derby side reached the Championship play-off final on Wednesday following a dramatic win over Leeds United.

When asked if he will still be at Stamford Bridge next season following last Sunday’s draw with Leicester, Sarri said:

‘I think so, but I am not sure.

‘I can say only that the club asked me for the Champions League, and we reached the target.

‘As you know very well, I love English football. I love the Premier League; it’s fantastic and the level is the best in the world, I think. The atmosphere in the stadiums is wonderful. I would like very much to stay here.’

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