Analysing Six Candidates' Chances of Becoming Chelsea's Next Manager

Chelsea's disastrous defence of the Premier League title and their sacking of Jose Mourinho is one of the stories of the season. It's been a crazy old year so far. Here, we're set to analyse the chances of six candidates as the race for the throne hots up...

Chelsea's disastrous defence of the Premier League title and their sacking of Jose Mourinho is one of the stories of the season. It's been a crazy old year so far.

Guus Hiddink has taken temporary charge of the Blues, but speculation is rife over who will step up to the poisoned chalice of 'Chelsea manager' ahead of the new season.

Here, we're set to analyse the chances of six candidates as the race for the throne hots up.

6. Guus Hiddink

Admittedly, this one probably isn't going to happen. But Guus Hiddink has now undertaken two 'steadying the ship' spells at Chelsea and seems worthy of a chance of coaching the club over a longer period.

The Dutchman was brought in last December following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, and while the club may have stuttered to more drawn matches than he'd have liked under his guidance so far, things are improving.

Hiddink is proving popular with the players and team spirit is high again. If he could somehow guide the club to a trophy at the end of the season (the FA Cup perhaps looks their most likely bet), he'd certainly solidify his claim.

He's revealed recently that he's likely retiring from coaching once his London adventure is over, but if given the opportunity it wouldn't come as a shock if Hiddink agreed to stay on.

5. Manuel Pellegrini

Another man set to leave his Premier League post at the end of the current campaign is Manuel Pellegrini, as he'll be replaced by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

When it comes to English footballing pedigree, Pellegrini wins out over most candidates in the frame to take charge. He guided City to the Premier League title in 2014 and has won other trophies in England too, though the Chilean's shortcomings in European football have been exposed since his arrival.

It's likely he'll end up in another country come next season, but Pellegrini certainly ticks a few boxes for Roman Abramovich.

4. Jorge Sampaoli

Former Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli has talked his way into the running to land his first job in English football, according to recent reports.

He brings with him recent tournament-winning experience, though it's at international level where he's earned his corn. He guided Chile to the Copa América title last year and was recently shortlisted for coach of the year with Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique.

Sampaoli is considered an outsider with bookmakers, as well as in the press. Perhaps his potential appointment would be the biggest surprise of all.

3. Diego Simeone

Diego Simeone has long been linked with a Premier League move, with Chelsea among the leading candidates to lure him away from Atletico Madrid.

Speculation of course intensified over his next destination when Mourinho's sacking was confirmed. Simeone has built a reputation for himself as one of world football's brightest young coaches, as he's the man who masterminded the Atletico's La Liga title win in 2014 - ahead of the might of Barcelona and city rivals Real.

While it wasn't ever expected he'd leave the Atleti project mid-season, speculation is abound that Simeone has already agreed terms with the Blues to step in this summer. Said reports are premature, but this one still has some way to run.

2. Massimiliano Allegri

Max Allegri's name has gradually reduced from leading candidate for the job down to rank outsider, such is current club Juventus' publicly-stated desire to keep him.

Allegri has successfully filled the boots of another Chelsea managerial candidate (soon to follow) in Turin, winning a domestic double of Serie A and Coppa Italia last season. Additionally, he was one step away from securing a treble with the Old Lady, but Allegri's side were beaten by Barcelona in the Champions League final last June.

While a worthy candidate, Juventus' director general has been keen to express in recent interviews that Allegri is close to extending his contract in Turin. This one's looking off the cards.

1. Antonio Conte

From the current Juventus manager to the former, and the current favourite to take over at Chelsea; Antonio Conte.

The Italian national coach is the lead candidate for the role as it stands, as the timings and desires of both club and manager appear to marry up nicely.

Conte is expected to stand down from international management at the end of Euro 2016, with his intention being to secure himself a return to club football. His contract with the Azzurri is in its final months and there'll be no potential compensation package for Roman Abramovich to fork out.

Media reports will have us believe that a series of meetings have been held between Conte and the club, and that an agreement is already pencilled in. As it stands, it looks as though the 46-year-old is lining up for his first crack at the Premier League.

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