Frank Rijkaard is the bookmakers favourite to become the next Blues boss, although there are plenty of lively contenders to replace Avram Grant. Whether or not the former Barca coach wants an immediate return to management is open to question, while it’s also questionable as to whether Roman Abramovich will want to appoint Roberto Mancini. While the Inter coach has done well domestically, he’s found Europe a much harder nut to crack, not something that is music to the ears of Peter Kenyon.
Another supposed front runner for the role is Guus Hiddink, despite the BBC reporting that the Russia coach would be likely to turn the role down if it was offered to him. However, with Abramovich apparently paying his wages to coach his national side, surely it wouldn’t be a shock to see him appointed?
Hiddink is yet to sign a new deal to stay on with Russia but BBC Radio 5 Live football correspondent Jonathan Legard said: “His agent says there is nothing suspicious about the unsigned contract.
“And his relationship with the Russian Football Federation is good, even if Hiddink himself expressed concern last week that the issue could become a distraction.
“By contrast, Hiddink’s fellow countryman Frank Rijkaard is readily available and may not object as much as (former boss) Jose Mourinho eventually did to Abramovich’s football involvement, which is reckoned to be as much as 30% of on-the-pitch activity by Richard Bevan of the League Managers’ Association.”
COS reckons the smart money could instead be on Sven-Goran Eriksson, who has allegedly been stalling on the vacant manager role at Benfica to see if Grant was going to be axed at Stamford Bridge. It’s hard to see him continuing much longer as Manchester City’s coach and all roads could lead back to London for the Swede.