While Jose Mourinho ponders how to get Chelsea back to their title-challenging best, Roman Abramovich may be considering a managerial change, and Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola is their only option.
For the first time in the Portuguese boss's glamorous managerial career, Mourinho is struggling to find the answer to why the Blues' bid to retain the title has flopped, embarrassingly.
Losing four of their nine league matches to date doesn't sound drastic, but to say Chelsea are ten points off league leaders Manchester City, tells a different story.
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They can no longer be considered genuine title contenders, nor can they now expect to finish in a Champions League place if they continue their poor form, with key players failing to meet the standards of last season.
Mourinho's self-proclaimed title as the 'Special One' has never been as redundant throughout his 15-year managerial career as it is now. For the first time, it has become a real struggle, where the problem has not been easy to solve and he is working under an owner who acts sharpish to remove his employees.
The 52-year-old has suffered a worse start than the 2007/08 season when he was sacked mid-September, and yet still finds himself in the dugout at Stamford Bridge.
Abramovich short of options?
It seems that one or two things have shaped Abramovich's decision making, which is the reason why the former Real Madrid boss still has a job in his second stint at the club.
Firstly, but arguably most unlikely as history would suggest, the Russian oligarch has learnt the art of patience and understands that simply firing and hiring is not the answer to long-term success at any club.
However, more likely, the 48-year-old is struggling to find a successor for Mourinho who would, in the long term, be able to sustain success and become as dominant as Manchester United over the years. Without again appointing someone who has already been in charge at the club - Carlo Ancelotti - then there is only one man right for the Blues.
Guardiola fits the bill
It is uncertain whether Guardiola will sign a new deal at the Allianz Arena, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season, while Mourinho could go the other way to Bayern Munich.
The switch could become a great bit of business for all parties. Guardiola could freshen up his career with a challenging, but appetising opportunity at another European giant. Mourinho would move straight back into work at a magnificent and successful football club. Bayern would get the man who they are reportedly targeting, should Guardiola leave, and Chelsea would get the best man for their job.
Ok, so not all elements of this ideological move are likely to come off, but it would surely be up there with some of the best bits of football business, wouldn't it? Every party would, or at least theoretically, benefit and so would Chelsea midfielder Pedro.
Guardiola is a man whose brand of football is attractive, intelligent and successful, in both Spain and Germany. Bringing that to the Blues would also benefit Pedro, who has struggled to adapt to the physical nature of the Premier League since his goal against West Bromwich Albion on his debut.
The former Barcelona man would reunite with his former coach, should he join the English club, hopefully allowing him to play a brand of football he is used to, and under someone he holds a lot of trust and respect in.
Looking at the potential candidates Abramovich would likely draw up, besides Guardiola, only one of the main four is currently out of work or would seek a move away from their current club. It certainly doesn't seem likely Chelsea would reunite with Carlo Ancelotti, would they?
It is a well-known theory that club's shouldn't reappoint a former manager, but it worked for Mourinho last season. However, the Blues would most likely be looking for someone fresh.
Chelsea short of options
Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus are just four points clear of the relegation zone in 14th, which could tempt the 48-year-old to move to England, having lost some major players over the summer and finding it hard to make do with the team he has got. But it could be argued he should be doing better with a competitive and strong squad, so would he be good enough for Chelsea?
Luis Enrique is unlikely to want to switch the Camp Nou for Stamford Bridge, having won the Champions League with Barcelona last season, while the Blues go in search of only their second title in Europe's elite competition. Why would Enrique leave arguably the biggest club in the world?
Diego Simeone is currently enjoying a boost at Atletico Madrid, as they try to push for the title and a successful European campaign, like the one that saw them match up with local rivals Real in the Champions League final, two seasons ago.
Abramovich has one worthy alternative if he is to dispose of Mourinho, who believes he is "the best manager this club ever had". For now, he should stick with the media maverick at least until the end of the season, and should Guardiola become available, then make the only appointment that is really going to allow Chelsea to become dominant in England and Europe.
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