As Chelsea’s search for a new manager continues so does the speculation over who the man to succeed Rafael Benitez will be and The Sun claim that the Stamford Bridge club have opened talks with Manuel Pellegrini’s representatives.
Reports in Spain suggested that his people have held preliminary talks with the Blues and some argue that it seems a little too convenient that Pellegrini’s agent Jesus Martinez has been speaking publicly about the Chilean’s release clause and the fact he’s only a year to run on his deal at Malaga.
There are many reasons why Roman Abramovich may be impressed by the 59-year-old former Real Madrid coach, who likes to play attacking football, and Chelsea probably have explored that avenue, but there isn’t too much to read into yet as the Blues will speak to a number of candidates before they formally offer the job to someone and may wait until Champions League football is secured before they do so.
Jose Mourinho remains the favourite to take the hot seat at Stamford Bridge but no one is quite sure where the Portuguese manager will end up as the likes of Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain are interested in him, whilst it isn’t certain that he will be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu at all, although Carlo Ancelotti is now being linked with his job at Real Madrid.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp is another name that is being touted as a potential manager at Chelsea and I think his brand of football and desire to develop talent makes him a perfect candidate, but he’s loyal to the German club and has reaffirmed his desire to see out his contract with them (that’s what Andre Villas-Boas said too, admittedly). Klopp may also be keen to stick around in the Bundesliga for at least one more season as he has a good thing going where he is and may be relishing the opportunity to lock horns with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.
Everton’s David Moyes and Juventus’ Antonio Conte are also potential candidates for the position despite the media interest cooling since they were initially mooted as potential Chelsea managers by the media. Moyes still hasn’t signed a new deal at Everton and may opt to move on if the Toffees don’t finish in the top four, it’s highly unlikely that they will at this stage.
It’s all rumours at the end of the day but I’m fairly certain that Pellegrini is one of three or four names (Mourinho is another) on Abramovich’s shortlist and the final decision will be his.