Chelsea have reportedly included Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino in their managerial shortlist as they look to appoint a new coach in the summer.
Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, former Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli, Italy’s Antonio Conte and Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone complete the list, and it is unclear at this stage as to who the Blues would prefer to appoint.
The reigning Premier League champions sacked Jose Mourinho in December after a poor start to the campaign and amid rumours of rifts in the dressing room. In turn, they placed Guus Hiddink in temporary charge until the end of the season before seeking a new long-term appointment.
According to ESPN FC, the way in which Pochettino has led Spurs to their title charge has impressed the hierarchy at Stamford Bridge, with the tactician continuing his impressive work in England after initially shining at Southampton.
However, there is a general acceptance at Chelsea that he would likely be the most difficult target to prise away from his current employers, with Tottenham unlikely to want to lose him given their success so far this season, and furthermore, to one of their direct rivals.
Meanwhile, it is suggested that Atleti have started to make contingency plans in the event that Simeone does decide to leave at the end of the season, which in turn will continue to add fuel to the fire regarding the Argentine’s possible move to England.
Conte will see his contract as Azzurri boss expire after Euro 2016, while Allegri has already insisted that he has no desire to leave Turin in the near future.
In contrast, Sampaoli remains a free agent after leaving his post as Chile boss last month, and so it promises to be an intriguing summer for Chelsea as they look to get their next appointment right with a view of getting back to their successful ways after a disappointing campaign this year.