Next Chelsea Manager: Who are the bookies' favourites to replace Frank Lampard?

Frank Lampard shakes hands with Brendan Rodgers

To say Frank Lampard will be feeling the pressure right now is a bit of an understatement.

No Chelsea manager can ever feel completely safe working under Roman Abramovich, so when you're amid a run of just two wins in eight games, it's pretty obvious that your time as Stamford Bridge boss could soon be coming to an abrupt end. 

Accordingly, there are already betting markets open on who'll be the next permanent Chelsea manager, so we've taken a look at the ten likeliest men to replace Lampard based on Paddy Power's latest odds...

Rafa Benitez - 20/1

Rafa remains a rank outsider for the Chelsea job, most likely due to the fact he's currently employed by Chinese outfit Dalian Professional and was hardly greeted with open arms by supporters during his interim spell back in 2012.

Nonetheless, that short stint was a successful one with Chelsea winning the Europa League and finishing in the top four, and having a prior working relationship with Abramovich and Chelsea's other key figures gives Benitez a unique advantage.

He knows the Premier League inside-out and has European silverware on his CV, although his safety-first tactical approach feels a little outdated compared to how most Big Six sides set up these days. 

Claude Makelele - 16/1

Could Chelsea's dugout trade the club's legendary midfield goalscorer for the anchor man that  gave him the defensive protection to get forward and find the net? A cut-throat twist of events but one that can't be completely ruled out with Makelele already on the club's staff as a technical mentor. 

The Frenchman previously served as assistant manager at PSG and Swansea, as well as taking the top job with Bastia and Eupen - although neither stint was hugely successful. In truth, as well as his connection to the Blues, it's probably Makelele's experience from his playing days that appeals more. 

The world's best in his trade to such an extent that defensive midfield was effectively renamed "the Makelele role", he lifted trophies with the Blues, Real Madrid and PSG, as well as starting the 2006 World Cup final. 

Didier Deschamps - 12/1

It's often forgotten that a short spell at Chelsea forged one of the final chapters in Didier Deschamps' playing career. He's obviously much better known for captaining France to the 1998 World Cup and then guiding them to the same honour twenty years later in 2018 while serving as manager. 

Indeed, Deschamps has proved as successful a manager as he was a player, having reached a Champions League final with Monaco, taken Juventus back to Serie A and won Ligue 1 with Marseille in addition to his international triumphs. 

Perhaps his greatest quality as France boss has been his ability to keep things simple and piece together the right collection of individuals to make a functioning team, which is a lot harder than it sounds considering the depth of talent he's had to choose from.

While players like Aymeric Laporte still aren't getting near the squad, Deschamps' faith in ageing Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud and relative unknown Benjamin Pavard proved inspired in Russia two years ago. 

France manager Didier Deschamps with the World Cup

Ralph Hasenhuttl - 12/1

One of the most impressive managers in the Premier League right now, who has taken Southampton from the 2018/19 relegation battle to winning the fifth-most points of any team in the division throughout 2020.

Hasenhuttl's ability to fight back from Saints' infamous 9-0 defeat to Leicester is testament to his staying power, which only makes him an even more impressive candidate for the Chelsea job when combined with the style of play he's implemented on the south coast - high pressing, energetic and optimistic football that has lead to constant comparisons with Jurgen Klopp. 

Another major plus is that he knows how to get the best out of Chelsea's struggling big-money addition Timo Werner. The German international scored 42 goals in 77 games under Hasenhuttl when he was RB Leipzig manager. 

Ralf Rangnick - 10/1

German football's answer to Marcelo Bielsa (without the obsessive mannerisms) would be a generalised but relatively fitting way to summarise Rangnick.

Despite winning a limited number of trophies himself, the 62-year-old is credited as a tactical visionary, having appeared on German television some two decades ago and caused a stir with his explanations about zonal marking, four man defences and organised pressing. 

He would go on to effectively oversee the Red Bull rise in Europe by serving as Leipzig and Salzburg's combined Director of Football, and even spent two short spells managing the Bundesliga side. 

So when you consider how many German coaches have taken that playing philosophy elsewhere in recent years, such as Klopp at Liverpool, and how many top footballers have played for the RB clubs under Rangnick's watch, he's got a pretty strong claim for being one of the most influential figures in European football over the last 20 years or so. 

Whether that makes him a great manager for Chelsea is a separate discussion altogether, but he is currently a free agent. 

Brendan Rodgers - 15/2

He may well prove to be the manager who delivered the final nail to Lampard's coffin if he's sacked before Chelsea's next game. Rodgers exceeded expectations at Liverpool when he almost took them to the Premier League title, brought Celtic's style of play to a new level while maintaining their dominance of Scottish football and has put together an exciting Leicester side that are challenging for Champions League qualification for a second consecutive season. 

He ticks the boxes in terms of style of play and experience. The only problem is that The Athletic have reported the Northern Irishmen will never be made Stamford Bridge boss because of how he's acted since leaving Chelsea's academy staff to become a first team manager. A combination of critical comments about the Blues and poor treatment of players Chelsea have loaned to him in good faith has turned admirers into adversaries in west London's corridors of power. 

RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann

Julian Nagelsmann - 15/2

Very much a disciple of the aforementioned 62-year-old, Nagelsmann has worked at two of Rangnick's former clubs in Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig, implementing a similar style of play that focuses on fast, dynamic and offensive football, while pressing together to win possession. 

Aged just 33 having prematurely ended his playing career, Nagelsmann is already being earmarked as a future superstar of the managerial game and while he's yet to win any silverware, recognition has come in the form of individual accolades - he was crowned German Football's Manager of the Year in 2017 and came third in UEFA's Men's Coach of the Year award last season. 

He's a managerial hot property but with Leipzig pushing for the Bundesliga title again this term as well as making it through to the knockout rounds of the Champions League, it would surely take a lot to convince him to jump ship mid-season.

Max Allegri - 7/2

Having won five consecutive Serie A titles and twice reached the Champions League final during his time at Juventus, Allegri has been linked with every major post in Europe since leaving the Old Lady in 2019. 

He lacks experience outside of Italian football but the former AC Milan gaffer's successes are impossible to ignore and Juve's European runs highlighted his tactical astuteness and flexibility, often changing formation, implementing hybrid systems, rotating personnel and creating unconventional roles such as Mario Mandzukic serving as a 'wide target man' to secure huge victories. 

He evolved Juve's style of play under Antonio Conte into something more expansive and eye-catching but managed to retain their defensive resilience - more than anything else, that's exactly what the Blues are lacking right now. 

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Thomas Tuchel - 7/2

Only recently axed by PSG after unflattering comments about the club's inner politics, much like Allegri, Tuchel will be an automatic suggestion for any prominent role until he eventually takes one.

Tuchel's famed for innovative tactics and expansive styles of football that incorporate a wealth of attacking talent, gegenpressing and positional overloads in key areas, and in addition to winning two Ligue 1 titles and reaching a Champions League final with PSG, he was revered for his philosophy at Dortmund. 

The only problem is that the 47-year-old has a pretty strong track record of falling out with key players and members of the club hierarchy, as his recent dismissal from PSG once again proved after various issues with chief scout Sven Mislintat and CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke at Dortmund. 

That doesn't bode particularly well for Chelsea, where power-sharing among the top brass can prove difficult even at the best of times. 

Andriy Shevchenko - 9/2

He's often remembered for being one of Chelsea's biggest transfer disasters that not only cost the club a fortune in monetary terms but also caused a seismic rift between Abramovich and Jose Mourinho. 

But before that, Shevchenko was the most lethal goalscorer on the planet and he's done a pretty good job of managing Ukraine since taking over in 2016, winning over half of his games in charge and, barring the odd exception, only really losing to top teams like France, Germany and Croatia. 

Nonetheless, he's never managed in club football before and isn't exactly a fan favourite among the Chelsea faithful either. But considering how short his odds are in spite of that, one can only assume the bookies know something we don't.  

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