Typically, Chelsea don’t waste any time in replacing an underperforming manager, which could be bad news for Maurizio Sarri. The Italian has overseen some questionable defensive performances in recent weeks—most notably in the 6-0 capitulation to Manchester City.
In light of Sarri’s potential exit, we’ve highlighted five viable candidates to take over at The Bridge -- starting with a familiar face: Jose Mourinho. Mou has won three trophies with Chelsea in two separate spells, and has typically been quick to bring success at the club. He’s available right now—although he’s about to start a job hosting on Russian state-backed TV—but his two two splits from Chelsea and disappointing tenure at Manchester United may work against him.
A favorite among the fans might be Gianfranco Zola, who is Sarri’s current assistant. He’s already familiar with the setup, and he’s the current favorite with the bookmakers. The concept of giving the job to a well-loved former player has worked very well at Manchester United… but Zola has failed to make an impact in previous spells with Watford and West Ham.
ZInedine Zidane is also available right now and comes off the back of three consecutive Champions League wins. The legendary Frenchman would definitely command respect, and he might even be able to keep Eden Hazard at the club. But he’s completely untested in the Premier League, and untested anywhere outside the confines of Madrid, so it would be a risky appointment.
Max Allegri has been linked with Chelsea for a while, thanks to his incredible achievements with Juventus. Roman Abramovich has hired four Italian managers and they’ve all won silverware, but the Blues would likely have to wait until the end of the season for Allegri, who also doesn’t have any experience outside of Italy.
But in my opinion, the best possible option for Chelsea’s next manager is… Diego Simeone. The Argentine is one of the most coveted managers in Europe after all he has achieved with Atletico Madrid. His physical style, adaptability with changing squads and tenacious mentality would be perfect for Chelsea in the Premier League.
It’s also likely they would have to wait until the summer for Simeone, but he would be worth the wait.