Andre Villas-Boas' sacking from his position as Chelsea manager came as no great surprise.
The Portuguese coach had been under increasing pressure in recent weeks thanks to a poor run of results which had seen the Blues win just five of their last 16, with the 1-0 defeat against West Brom on Saturday proving to be the final straw.
While Roberto di Matteo takes temporary charge of the Stamford Bridge club, who is the man to take them from their lowest point since Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003 and back to the top of the table?
As Chelsea’s most successful manager of all time, Jose Mourinho would be welcomed back at Stamford Bridge by the club’s supporters and most likely by the owner with open arms.
Mourinho is seemingly destined to leave Real Madrid this summer and has spoken longingly of his love for the English game.
The former Porto and Inter boss left Chelsea under a cloud of controversy following a falling out with Abramovich, leaving an air of unfinished business about his time in west London.
His failure to deliver the Champions League to the Russian owner after some epic duels with Liverpool and Barcelona will still rankle having won pretty much everything else.
However it is not the perfect fit. Chelsea need to overhaul a squad of ageing superstars – players Mourinho still holds in high regard and who still love him, while he was quoted recently as saying he has no interest in returning to any of his former clubs.
The next Chelsea boss? Quite possibly, but surely the wrong fit. Never stays around long enough to build a team from the bottom up and has strong links to players who most believe are holding the club back.
Pep Guardiola’s record at Barcelona speaks for itself. Since he took over in 2008 the former Barca midfielder has won 13 of the 16 trophies his side have competed for.
Most attractive to Chelsea and Abramovich is his record in the Champions League – Guardiola has held the trophy aloft in two of the last three years.
Something of a polar opposite to Mourinho, there are some doubts over whether he would be able to replicate the success he has enjoyed with Barca, who many believe are the greatest side of all time, at another club.
The fact he only has a one year rolling contract at the Nou Camp means there would not be any huge payout in order to secure his services and the Spaniard has so far remained coy on committing his future to the Catalan club.
The next Chelsea boss? A real strong contender for the job, and fits the bill both in terms of profile and achievements – as surprising as it sounds given his past duels with Chelsea Guardiola may wind up at Stamford Bridge.
Probably the most obvious choice given his current availability, although reports suggest that he would be unwilling to take the job if only offered it on a short term basis.
Another whose Champions League record will endear him to Abramovich, Benitez guided Liverpool to glory in Europe’s leading club competition back in 2005 and was so often in the way of Chelsea's attempts to win the tournament.
Has been out of action for some time now and didn’t have the best of times at Inter despite inheriting a Champions League winning side, but would be a safe bet.
The next Chelsea boss? Certainly in the running but if either of the main two targets suggest they are open to a move then would be left in the cold. However enough doubts surround both Mourinho and Guardiola to suggest that Benitiez will be staying by his phone.
A left field choice, but certainly an interesting one, Moyes would have caught the eye of Abramovich as he guided his Everton side to a 2-0 win over Chelsea in one of Andre Villas-Boas last games in charge.
Coming up for ten years in charge at Goodison Park, Moyes undoubtedly has the respect of his peers as one of the best managers in the league having guided the Toffees into the Champions League back in 2004.
Had plenty of ups and downs in time on Merseyside but deserves a shot at a bigger club for his excellent work on a budget.
The next Chelsea boss? Can’t compete with the C.Vs of some of the other names mentioned with the Chelsea job. Moyes fits the role in as much as he has an excellent reputation for bringing young players such as Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman, James Vaughan and of course Wayne Rooney into the Premier League – something Chelsea will need to do over the coming years.
An outsider, and may have to prove his worth at another club such as Tottenham before getting a shot at the Chelsea job.
Another interesting option available to Chelsea, according to reports Joachim Low, manager of the German national team, has already held a meeting with Abramovich over the possibility of becoming the next Chelsea boss.
Contracted with the German national team until 2014, Low has carried on the good work done by former boss Jurgen Klinsmann to help Germany emerge as a genuine force in world football and strong contenders for the upcoming European Championships.
The fact his side are based around a core of young exciting talent and that he has been able to field young players will still achieving success makes him a good option.
The next Chelsea boss? Although at face value it seems a nice fit, Low is in charge of one of the best national sides around at the moment with a side in place that will surely stay in tact until the next World Cup where they will be contenders. Unlikely to swap that for putting his neck on the line at Chelsea.
….and Roberto di Matteo
Put in temporary charge of Chelsea after Villas-Boas' departure, former Blues midfielder Di Matteo has already had to face reports of unrest in the camp over his appointment, with one paper suggested he is disliked by the squad.
Forced out of his job at West Brom over similar accusations and a poor run that took them to the brink of relegation, Di Matteo’s only other experience as manager came with the MK Dons.
The next Chelsea boss? Even if he is able to replicate former interim boss Avram Grant’s achievement of guiding Chelsea to the Champions League final against all odds it is unlikely he is the long term answer to Chelsea’s problems.
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