London, April 28: Maurizio Sarri said he wants to stay on as Chelsea head coach, but warned it may take another couple of seasons for his side to challenge for the Premier League title.
Sarri has come under increasing pressure during his maiden campaign in the Premier League, with Chelsea winning just three of their last seven top-flight matches.
But Sarri's Chelsea still occupy fourth place in the table and are through to the Europa League semi-finals, where Eintracht Frankfurt await, and the former Napoli boss believes he is the right man to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City – which currently stands at 24 and 22 points respectively – over the coming seasons.
"I am sure that, in two seasons, we will be able to be close to them," he told reporters ahead of Chelsea's trip to Manchester United on Sunday.
A big weekend awaits... pic.twitter.com/4FamhkJ6M1— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 25, 2019
"But I am not sure that, in two seasons, we will be able to be better than them."
Sarri has had to constantly fend off questions regarding his future, but the Italian is determined to continue in the Premier League and deliver the success craved by supporters, having come close to ending Juventus' stronghold of the Serie A title during his time in Naples.
"The Premier League is wonderful and I want to remain in the Premier League," he said. "I want to remain at Chelsea, because the level is very, very high. The atmosphere in the stadiums is really fantastic. And so, it's a wonderful championship. I'd like to remain here.
"When I arrived in Naples, Napoli were, in the table the season before, 24 points from Juventus. In the first season we arrived to nine points from Juventus, second season to six points, third season to four points.
"For us it was impossible to cover completely the gap, but at the end of the third season, we were very close to doing it.
"In Naples I was able to have in every season about 60 training sessions only for the defensive line. Here I had about 11 or 12 on the defensive line [in pre-season], so there is a big difference. Probably I needed time to get used to English football."