Jose Mourinho may face an inglorious exit from Chelsea next weekend if his Blues side succumbs to defeat against Stoke City.
According to the Daily Mail, two more poor performances against Dynamo Kiev and the Potters will seal his fate, and after being banned for one Premier League game by the FA, Mourinho won't even be able to influence the result at the Britannia Stadium.
With the Special One moving closer to the Stamford Bridge exit door, attention has well and truly turned to his potential replacement. Carlo Ancelotti, a proven manager across four different leagues, is the only world-class coach currently available and would be the natural choice for Roman Abramovich.
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According to the same report, if Mourinho is dismissed, Ancelotti will be in line for a return to west London and the legendary Blues midfielder Claude Makelele will be alongside him.
Both have won Premier League titles at Chelsea, albeit at different times, but have experienced success together whilst sharing the dugout at Paris Saint-Germain.
Makelele acted as an assistant to the Italian at Parc des Princes but left to take charge of Bastia. He was sacked after just six months, but he is still held in high regard by Ancelotti, who would welcome him into his backroom team if offered a position at Chelsea.
Chelsea officials now see the pair – both of whom are held in high regard by supporters – as a sort of dream pairing to appease a fanbase that will undoubtedly be discontented by Mourinho's departure.
The Makelele role
Makelele essentially created a new position during his five seasons with the club. His defensive role – now coined as the 'Makelele role' – has been adopted by almost every top club in Europe at one point or another in the last decade.
But the former France international is now determined to carve out a career as a coach and a return to Stamford Bridge would be seen as an excellent opportunity to hone his skills.