Football Manager simulates Zinedine Zidane, Frank Lampard and Diego Simeone at Chelsea

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Maurizio Sarri has bought himself time at Chelsea with a 5-1 aggregate win over Malmo.

The pressure has been mounting on the Italian after a torrid run of results in 2019, including the 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City and 4-0 defeat away to Bournemouth.

However, a relatively straightforward victory in the Europa League gives him some breathing space and Sarri will be hoping to execute a complete u-turn in the Carabao Cup final.

That seems unlikely against Pep Guardiola's magnificent City team, though, and you get the feeling that Sarri is still just a single defeat away from losing his job.

There has been speculation that Chelsea are already exploring alternative options and Sky Sports even reported that AS Roma are exploring Sarri's very own availability.

A new Chelsea boss?

It's all just rumours at this stage but some of the names thrown about include Frank Lampard, Zinedine Zidane and Diego Simeone.

There are certainly plenty of Chelsea fans who would rather one name from that trio assumed responsibility at Stamford Bridge and they could easily get their wish next season.

In light of this, Football Manager 2019 has been used to simulate exactly how these three managers would fare in west London if they replaced Sarri from the summer onward. Take a look at the result:

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Zinedine Zidane

If FM 2019 is to believed, Chelsea should seriously avoid hiring Zidane.

The former Real Madrid manager is sensationally sacked in March following four Premier League defeats in a row, leaving them eight points behind Tottenham and the top four.

They started the season with a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Spurs, lost half of their opening 12 matches and were defeated in every single league game they played in February. Ouch.

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Diego Simeone

Chelsea experiences much better fortunes under Simeone and the current Atletico Madrid boss almost matched the exploits of Antonio Conte, finishing just four points shy of the winners.

A slow start would prove costly in the end - winning just 15 points in their opening nine games - but they experienced a thrilling 11-game winning streak during the winter months.

Simeone managed to secure Champions League qualification, defeated AC Milan to win the Europa League and was unlucky to lose the FA Cup in a penalty shootout with Liverpool.

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Frank Lampard

Things start very promisingly for Lampard on his return to Stamford Bridge, winning nine and drawing three of his opening games but a mid-season slump would quickly derail proceedings.

The Chelsea board were far more lenient with Lampard, who led the club to a sixth-placed finish and failed to deliver a trophy.

Nevertheless, that Premier League position is quite misleading with Lampard falling short of Simeone's league performance by just four points. Certainly nothing spectacular, though. 

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Who would you prefer in the Chelsea job - Zidane, Lampard or Simeone? Have your say in the comments section below.

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