Maurizio Sarri is open to the prospect of John Terry joining his coaching staff at Chelsea but fears the club's former captain is intent upon playing for another season before he turns his attention to life in the dug-out.
The iconic defender was set to join the Russian club on a free transfer after leaving Aston Villa, but at the last minute made a decision to pull the plug on the move despite having undergone a medical.
Chelsea return to domestic action against Cardiff City on Saturday, and Sarri expects a tough game for his returning players. "If he wants to help us I am really very happy".
He has said: "I'm not sure when I am going to play".
"It's up to him". "I think this season is too soon, but I hope not".
"I said before I want to give space to the young players", Sarri said.
Asked about the prospect of Terry returning, Sarri added: "I don't know".
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"If we want to take the points, we will need a very good performance tomorrow".
'However, if Man City slip even a little, I think Liverpool will punish them'.
"It is very hard to recover 30 points in one season, very hard".
'We can improve and that's what I feel in training'.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a doubt for the game with an injury, while Emerson and Davide Zappacosta are also unlikely to feature. I have to speak to him. So I know that the matches after the break are very, very hard.
They will be expected to make it five from five at Stamford Bridge on Saturday when Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas could be on the bench after recovering from a knee injury.
Sarri's single-minded focus means he has not yet explored London - Conte would often explore the restaurants and sights of the surrounding area with his family - but he said he has settled easily into his new environment.
Marked his first start for the Toffees last time out with an assist, and is likely to start again this weekend.