Chelsea manager Frank Lampard appears to be in danger of losing his job following a meek run of form in the Premier League.
Concern was growing at Stamford Bridge as 2020 drew to an underwhelming close, and their 3-1 defeat against Manchester City at the weekend served to illuminate an alarming gulf in class between the two sides.
The Blues have now won just one of their last six Premier League games, prompting discussion over Lampard's job security.
According to a report in The Athletic, the club are already exploring alternatives with a view to replacing Lampard as speculation begins to grow regarding his future.
The report does not explicitly reveal any exact names that Roman Abramovich and co. may be considering.
However, according to Betfair's latest odds (via Daily Mail), there are eight candidates in the running to replace the 42-year-old.
With that in mind, here at GIVEMESPORT we've ranked the eight named managers in order of worst to best based on who we think is the right man to replace Lampard.
Take a look at the eight-man ranking below...
8. John Terry (12/1)
If Chelsea have learnt anything from their sentimental appointment of Lampard, they'll steer well clear of John Terry.
To overlook a glaring lack of experience in favour of nostalgia would be criminal from Abramovich; only a fool would make the same mistake twice.
Until Terry has a few years of management under his belt, Chelsea should avoid Aston Villa's assistant head coach.
7. Gareth Southgate (20/1)
It's another resounding no.
While Gareth Southgate has certainly proven his managerial credentials during his time in charge of England, the challenges of club management are radically different from leading a national side.
He's been out of the club management game since 2009, and with Euro 2021 in sight there's absolutely no way he could be persuaded to take the reins at Stamford Bridge.
6. Rafa Benitez (10/1)
Chelsea have a strong affinity for old flames.
Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink have both been re-hired by Abramovich in the Premier League era, and a move for Benitez would see him become the third member of this exclusive club.
However, the tactical pragmatist is unlikely to extract the best form out of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.
5. Nuno Espirito Santo (14/1)
An intriguing option who deserves to be in the conversation.
Nuno has worked wonders at Wolves in recent years and can be forgiven for his side's mediocre form this season given the absence on Raul Jimenez and his ongoing efforts to integrate a handful of young players.
However, his preference for a system containing three central defenders and flying wing-backs does not align with Chelsea's current crop of players, though it's worth noting that Reece James and Ben Chilwell are both more than capable of thriving in wing-back roles.
The Portuguese manager is also yet to prove himself at a Champions League standard outfit, and that counts against him here.
4. Julian Nagelsmann (6/1)
Arguably the most revered up-and-coming manager in world football, Julian Nagelsmann looks destined to take a big job in the Premier League at some stage in what promises to be a glowing career.
He's a stark candidate for the Chelsea job given his RB Leipzig side are into the last-16 of the Champions League and currently sit just two points shy of Bayern Munich at the summit of the Bundesliga table.
The 33-year-old is into just his second full season in charge of the east German outfit, though, and should be given until at least the end of this campaign to refine his pulsating brand of football.
Besides, he'll have his heart set on dethroning Bayern and is unlikely to be tempted away before the season reaches its conclusion.
3. Massimiliano Allegri (7/1)
Massimiliano Allegri ticks plenty of boxes for Chelsea.
The 53-year-old boasts pedigree from a career that has seen him lift six Serie A titles with two different clubs, while his tactical flexibility is bound to benefit a squad containing an array of fluid, high-calibre players.
Given he's a free agent at this moment in time, Chelsea wouldn't need to worry about compensation fees either.
2. Brendan Rodgers (3/1)
Brendan Rodgers will be chomping at the bit to have another stab at an elite Premier League outfit.
The Leicester City boss is doing an exceptional job at the King Power Stadium and could well mount a title challenge of his own in this turbulent 2020/21 season.
With an intimate knowledge of the English top-flight, crafted and obtained during three spells with Swansea City, Liverpool and now Leicester, there's no doubt he has the philosophy and experience to replace Lampard at Stamford Bridge.
And given he's already spent time at Chelsea as manager of their U18 and reserve sides between 2004 and 2008, there's a clear affiliation between club and coach to solidify his candidacy.
Would it would be possible to convince the Northern Irishman to depart mid-season? He's got previous in that regard having left Celtic for Leicester with the club in hot pursuit of their eighth SPFL title in a row.
Leaving the Foxes for a fellow Premier League rival at this pivotal stage in the season would arguably be an ever greater act of betrayal given how fundamental he is to the Midlands club's success.
1. Thomas Tuchel (5/1)
At the top of the list is a man with experience in managing some of the biggest personalities in the game, taking clubs to European finals and winning domestic trophies - that's what they call a full house in Abramovich's world.
Not only is his profile befitting of an ideal Lampard successor, he's a free agent after being replaced by Mauricio Pochettino at Paris-Saint Germain.
He's second favourite to replace Lampard after Rodgers according to the bookies, but we rate the two-time Ligue 1 champion as the best of the aforementioned eight candidates.News Now - Sport News