Rafael Benitez's time with at Chelsea is coming to an end. When he signed with the Blues last November, we all knew this was only a temporary solution. But now, with the end of the season just around the corner, Chelsea will have to find a suitable replacement.
In my opinion, here are the top five options for Chelsea:
Michael Laudrup | Swansea
At the beginning of the season, Swansea were expected to battle bravely against relegation but Michael Laudrup has steered them to the top half of the Premier League table and delivered the club's first ever major trophy - the Capital One Cup - in style.
Swansea's attractive football has allowed them to score 40 goals in 30 matches, which exceeds every expectation from August.
His work in Spain, as well as his past as a football player, has done no harm to his reputation at all. There is only one downside to this hypothetical Chelsea job application: Roman Abramovich, who has always been comfortable with a big name for his appointments - Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Guus Hiddink have already been in charge of a major team in Europe and had already won major trophies before signing with Chelsea.
António Conte | Juventus
The Italian manager took a shattered Juventus side and put them back on the right track. Juventus are now the strongest team in Italy and that's all due to Conte's work.
He built a well-oiled machine and got them back on track for European and Italian glory, giving the supporters a new hope and a new trust in their team.
He would be a perfect fit at Stamford Bridge, because Chelsea are now to England what Juventus was two years ago to Italy: a team that has stagnated and appears to be getting further away from the top spots.
Manuel Pellegrini | Malaga
With Málaga, Manuel Pellegrini is picking up right where he left off when he departed Villarreal. Reaching the Champions League quarter-finals this season is a major achievement for Malaga and it's all Pellegrini's doing.
Chelsea would be very lucky to rely on the Chilean's experience and knowledge. His biggest coaching challenge was with Real Madrid, and some people would say he failed it, but we can not forget his team in that year recorded a total of 96 points in La Liga and were only unable to win because of Barcelona's sensational campaign.
André Villas-Boas | Tottenham
Last season, the Portuguese coach was unsuccessful at Stamford Bridge, which makes him and unlikely pick for Chelsea. But with the pressure of replacing Harry Redknapp at Tottenham, the young manager was able to prove all of his talent and skill learned while working as a member of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff at Chelsea.
The pros for Villas-Boas' selection are endless: he is young, ambitious, already won important trophies both in Europe and is a natural born communicator.
If Abramovich considers giving him a second chance, I believe great things would come Chelsea's way.
José Mourinho | Real Madrid
When Jose Mourinho left Chelsea, the Blues' supporters always hoped he would come back.
This year seems a perfect opportunity for his return. The Portuguese manager is having a tough time in Madrid and we've been hearing rumours about his Real Madrid departure for a very long time.
The only problem with this scenario is the way he left things with Abramovich in 2007. But several years have gone by and Mourinho always said he wanted to come back to the Premier League. Will we see that this summer?
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