Zenit were believed to be interested in bringing the former Napoli boss to Russia.
But their decision to hire Semak has seemingly gifted Chelsea a clear path to the Italian.
Napoli's stubbornness towards Sarri's release clause remains a hurdle for the Blues. The Serie A club are refusing to budge from the £8m fee - as reported by Goal - despite already hiring a replacement in Carlo Ancelotti.
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