Defeat to West Ham on Saturday afternoon resulted in Chelsea's worst start to a season since 1990. With five defeats in ten league games this season, Jose Mourinho is coming under increasing scrutiny as the speculation about his future mounts at Stamford Bridge.
The 'Special One' has caused as much controversy off the pitch as his team have on it, leading many to believe that Roman Abramovich's patience is beginning to wear thin. So if Chelsea's billionaire owner was to pull the trigger, who would be the candidates to take over?
Probably the most sought-after coach in world football, Guardiola will surely grace the Premier League at some point in his career.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
When the Spaniard decides the time is right, there will be no shortage of suitors either, with a CV that can match anyone in the game. His tika-taka style of play is the brand of football Abramovich craves at Stamford Bridge and so if he becomes available, Chelsea would certainly be one of the teams interested.
Guardiola, however, seems an unlikely immediate successor to Mourinho as it is unlikely he would be available to take over until - at the earliest - next season. Whether the 52-year-old will be given that long remains to be seen, but if results continue to spiral out of control it would seem improbable.
If Chelsea look in serious danger of falling out of the top four by Christmas, don't expect Abramovich to wait around.
The Argentine has formed quite the name for himself in his time at Atletico Madrid, transforming them into title challengers alongside Barcelona and Real Madrid. His unprecedented 2013 La Liga triumph and Champions League runners-up finish in the same year was one of the great stories of modern football.
Simeone would prove a smoother transition from Mourinho, both men demanding defensive contribution from their whole team.
A potential move would also enable the Atletico boss to link up with former players Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois, whom he managed before they left the Spanish capital. This could help get the best out of Chelsea's frontman, who has been struggling for form this term.
It would take a big contract offer, but enticing Simeone from Atletico would appear to be more realistic than getting Guardiola from Bayern Munich.
Before Mourinho's struggles, a return to Stamford Bridge seemed out of the question for the Italian.
Very popular with both fans and players, Ancelotti brought a brand of attacking football to the Bridge which saw them win the league and FA Cup double in 2010, scoring over 100 goals in the process.
It is this attacking intent which would be a huge attraction for Blues fans. Although, whether he would be willing to return remains to be seen. The Italian was sacked for finishing second, just a year after winning the league and may be unwilling to work for Abramovich again.
On the other hand, he is available, he loves London and if Mourinho returned, why can't Ancelotti?
This is in no way a suggestion Mourinho will take over from himself. However, with all the speculation, it is easy to forget the most likely outcome is that the current manager stays on. The 'Special One' has publicly declared his own job security as well as receiving official backing from the board in recent weeks.
The philosophy seems to have changed behind the scenes at Chelsea, for if this were five years ago, the Portuguese boss would have cleared his desk by now. Stability seems to be the plan for the Blues now and in order to do that they need to stick by the manager they recently handed a four-year contract to.
This is the first time in Mourinho's career he has suffered a such a poor series of results. He has surely earned the time to turn things around.
However, he needs to improve results quickly, because if Chelsea drift too far away from the top four, Abramovich won't hesitate to pull the trigger.
Which of these candidates will the Chelsea owner choose? Leave us a comment in the box below with your thoughts!