Javi Gracia has been identified as a potential successor to Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea boss, it has been claimed.

Despite winning the Europa League and securing a top-four finish in his first season at Stamford Bridge, Sarri is widely expected to leave the Blues in the near future to return to his native Italy and take over at Juventus.

ESPN has reported the Hornets head coach is “under consideration” to succeed Sarri, with the Telegraph also stating the 49-year-old is “likely” to be in the frame for the job alongside Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, England assistant Steve Holland and the favourite for the hot seat, Chelsea legend and Derby County manager Frank Lampard.

Gracia’s coaching ability and style of play is said to have attracted the attention of the Chelsea board, but ESPN suggest he is one of the names under consideration rather than the favoured choice.

Having ensured Watford remained in the Premier League after succeeding Marco Silva in January 2018, Gracia won plenty of admirers outside of Vicarage Road last season by leading the Hornets to the FA Cup final and securing a club record points tally and highest finish in the Premier League.

The Spaniard signed a new four-and-a-half year deal at Vicarage Road in November, with the option of it being extended for a further three years until 2026.