Chelsea may well have eventually seen off Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but reports haven’t stopped over Antonio Conte’s precarious job status.
Prior to the weekend, the reigning Premier League champions had lost back-to-back league games and were held by Roma in the Champions League in midweek.
In turn, pressure began to increase on Conte to get things back on track, and although they managed to secure a 4-2 win over the Hornets, it wasn’t a particularly convincing display.
The Express report that Carlo Ancelotti has emerged as the favourite to replace his compatriot in the event that he is sacked by Chelsea, with William Hill, and others as per Oddschecker, installing him at the top of the list of successors ahead of former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel who sits in second place.
The highly-successful tactician enjoyed a previous spell at Stamford Bridge between 2009 and 2011, winning the Premier League and FA Cup double in his first season in charge before being axed by Roman Abramovich the following year.
As a result, it would be a huge surprise to see him come back for a second stint especially just after being sacked by Bayern Munich, but for now Conte will have to continue to ignore such reports and focus on his job as a string of wins in the coming weeks will undoubtedly silence the suggestions that he could be on his way out.
It’s also surprising to even see the possibility touted given that he won the Premier League title just last season, and while perhaps there are issues off the pitch too, it’s quite the situation that Chelsea find themselves in yet again.
After Jose Mourinho returned and delivered the league title three years ago, the following season was a disaster. Many thought this year was following a similar trend after results prior to the weekend, but Conte will be desperate to avoid seeing that happen.