Jorge Sampaoli is now a serious candidate for Chelsea job

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Football News

Chelsea fans have plenty to worry about between now and the end of the season. They are still hoping to see their team climb into the top half of the Premier League table while there is still a very small chance of a European/FA Cup double.

However, in the boardrooms of Stamford Bridge, planning is already underway for next season. Guus Hiddink will only be around until the last game of the current campaign and after that, a new coach will have to be brought in.

Roman Abramovich knows his team are facing a summer of monumental upheaval. John Terry looks set to depart for pastures new while there is also significant doubt surrounding the future of Eden Hazard. Whoever their next manager is, he has a lot of work to do in the summer and will need to start as soon as possible.

The Russian oligarch will most likely want his new manager decided in the next few weeks so transfer plans can get underway. Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone has emerged as an early frontrunner while Juventus' Massimilano Allegri and Italy coach Antonio Conte are also on the alleged shortlist.

However, they all have a lot on their plate at the moment and won't be able to commit any time to the Blues before the end of their respective campaigns. Indeed, Conte wouldn't even join until after Euro 2016 at the earliest. Hardly ideal, as Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will tell you.

Serious considerations

As a result, Abramovich is now considering a move for Chile's former head coach Jorge Sampaoli, who, as of last month, is out of work and free to start a new job at the drop of a hat. According to the Telegraph, his immediate availability and a desire to manage in the Premier League has seen him emerge as a serious candidate.

Sampaoli has never managed in Europe but has made an impact on the world game after guiding the Chile national team to their first Copa America victory last summer. He came third in the FIFA World Coach of the Year contest behind Barcelona's Luis Enrique and Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola.

After leaving his post with Chile after a row with the country's FA last month, he is now desperate to make the long-awaited move to Europe and has started learning English in anticipation of an offer from a Premier League club.

High-press football

It is not just convenience that is making Sampaoli the dark horse for the job, but a genuine admiration from Abramovich for his style of play.

Abramovich has studied Sampaoli's teams and has been left impressed with the high-pressing football that they play. Reminiscent of Jurgen Klopp's philosophy, it is the kind of exciting football that Abramovich would like to see installed in west London.

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