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The leading candidates to be the next Chelsea manager

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Chelsea continue to hunt for their next permanent manager after a tumultuous defence of their Premier League crown, and many big names are being linked with the job.

Languishing in 12th in the Premier League and a huge 14 points off of the Champions League places, Chelsea are desperately in need of a trophy in order to maintain their European status. However, a tough tie against Paris-Saint-Germain in the Champions League means the Blues may well be looking at a year without Europe next season.

Guus Hiddink, who took temporary charge after Jose Mourinho was sacked by the club, is under contract until the end of the season, but the Chelsea board are looking for a permanent coach to lead them back to the Premier League's title fight.

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We evaluate the favourites for the job, and the names that Roman Abramovich may well be keeping up his sleeve...

Massimiliano Allegri

Current Club: Juventus

Champions League runners-up Juventus will have to try very hard to convince Allegri to stay at Juventus at the end of this season, and his mentor Giovanni Galeone believes that he will take the job as Chelsea's next permanent manager.

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Chelsea would be interested in bringing Allegri to the club too if it could improve their chances of signing Frenchman Paul Pogba.

The Blues reportedly had a £66 million offer rejected for him in the summer but the midfielder and Allegri have a good bond at Juve and the Italian's appointment could persuade Pogba to join Chelsea.

However, Allegri has not confirmed his interest in the Chelsea job, and said: “There’s nothing to it. I cannot either confirm or deny something that doesn’t exist.

Juventus FC v SSC Napoli - Serie A

“I want this matter over and done with now. What’s important for me right now is to get to the end of the season with Juventus and try and win some silverware.”

His attacking style of play means Juventus have won 17 of their last 18 games, are in the Copa Italia semi-finals and face Bayern Munich in the Champions League Round of 16. 

Player he could bring: Paul Pogba

Player he could sell: John Mikel Obi

Antonio Conte

Current Club: Italy (National Team)

Antonio Conte is learning English ahead of a proposed move to Chelsea, according to reports in the Daily Star.

The 46-year-old, who was Allegri's predecessor at Juventus before taking the job as Italy manager after the World Cup in Brazil, is to hold talks with the FIGC (the Italian FA) after Euro 2016 when his contract expires.

Italy v Romania - International Friendly

It is claimed that representatives of the former Juventus and Atlanta manager met with the Chelsea board before Christmas, and reports that he is learning English will only add fuel to the fire.

Conte is believed to have already told the FIGC that he wants to return to club management after this summer’s tournament.

Conte's links with both Juventus and the Italian national team means the Italian faces may increase at Stamford Bridge as Georgio Chiellini and Stephan El Shaarawy are both said to be fans of Conte's managerial style.

His usual 3-5-2 formation differs from the 4-2-3-1 which has been utilised by Chelsea managers for a significant period of time, and could see John Terry getting a new contract to lead that defence.

It may also spell the end for Branislav Ivanovic, who has been out of form this season.

Chelsea fans will inspect Conte's performance over the summer, and will surely be a fan of Conte's diamond formation, which utilizes the wingers and also gives the younger players a chance.

Player he could bring: Stephan El Shaarawy

Player he could sell: Branislav Ivanovic

Manuel Pellegrini

Current Club: Manchester City

Manuel Pellegrini's proven success at Manchester City still was not enough to provide him with an extended deal at the Etihad, as the Sky Blues opted for former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola instead.

However, reports in the Daily Mail claim Pellegrini still has a few years left in him to manage in the Premier League, and Chelsea will be looking to appoint a proven name.

Sunderland v Manchester City - Premier League

Whether or not Pellegrini would be interested in the Chelsea job is another matter - he has managed to keep things quiet from the press before, claiming he already knew about Pep Guardiola's appointment.

Pellegrini, who won the Premier League title in 2014, would look to invest in big names for Chelsea if he were to arrive, as he had done at Manchester City.

Player he could bring: Jamie Vardy

Player he could sell: Loic Remy

Brendan Rodgers

Current Club: Unemployed

Brendan Rodgers would be the ideal short-term replacement to redevelop Chelsea having previously worked with the youth team at Stamford Bridge.

The Daily Mail reports that Chelsea lack many big name options, with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Diego Simeone unlikely to leave Atletico Madrid for a club that are not playing in Europe's elite competition.

Rodgers, who led Liverpool to 2nd place in the Premier League back in 2014, has been out of a job since he was sacked earlier this season and would fit in at Stamford Bridge have previously worked there under Jose Mourinho.

Liverpool FC Training Session

Rodgers' tactics are often questioned as he struggles to decide on a formation, and fans would wonder if he is the man to lead them into Europe again, but with a beady eye for young talent and links at Stamford Bridge, a two-year contract could be good for both Rodgers and the Club.

Player he could bring: Antoine Griezmann

Player he could sell: Pedro

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Topics:
Premier League
Italy Football
Football
Brendan Rodgers
Chelsea
Jose Mourinho

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