The time isn’t on Sarri’s side; Who is the likely replacement?

Maurizio Sarri is not far from the sack pen at Chelsea if they lose the Carabao Cup final on Sunday against Manchester City. Chelsea are in dismal form and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United in thir recent match thanks to header goals from Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba on the night clash.

There is growing concern among the Chelsea board after the string of bad results and also about Sarri’s relationship with the fans.

Sarri now appears to be dead man walking at Stamford Bridge and he is running out of time as they face Malmo in the Europa League on Thursday night, Manchester City  at Wembley on Sunday and then Tottenham next Wednesday.

These in min we try to predict who could come in in case the Italian is shown the door by the merciless Abramovich. Here are the potential replacements at Stamford Bridge.

Gianfranco Zola;

Established as a club legend during his playing days for the club, Zola is currently assistant-manager to Sarri in the Chelsea dugout, and the bookies favourite to replace him if he departs.

Zola has previously managed in England with West ham, Watford and Birmingham, and he has some managerial pedigree to fall back on should he be placed in the hot seat, despite not being overly successful in any of the roles.

The move certainly wouldn’t be opposed by the Chelsea faithful, who still hold the Italian in very high regard, though his inexperience of managing at the top level could be a stumbling block.Zola would likely be an interim appointment until the end of the season if Sarri does go.

Frank Lampard;

The Chelsea legend is taking his first steps in management at Derby.The Rams started the season well and picked up some impressive scalps in the Carabao Cup, including knocking out Manchester United.

They are still well-placed to reach the Championship play-offs but Lampard continues to be linked with the Chelsea job.It is likely to come too soon for the club’s record goalscorer, although he may find the offer too good to turn down.

Brendan Rodgers;

Bookmakers have slashed odds on Rodgers returning to Stamford Bridge.The former Lierpool boss managed Chelsea’s youth sides before landing his first senior position at Watford.

He has guided Celtic to back-to-back trebles and they remain on course to repeat that feat again this season.But you have to wonder quite how much more he can achieve north of the border.

Rodgers certainly has unfinished business in the Premier League after how things ended at Liverpool.

Zinedine Zidane;

The Frenchman is yet to return to management since leaving Real Madrid at the end of last season.Real won three Champions League titles during his tenure but it remains to be seen how he would fare elsewhere.

Zidane’s chances aren’t helped by his poor English but he is a big-name candidate.He is likely to want assurances on Eden Hazard’s future before taking the role on, though.

Jose Mourinho;

The pantomime villain fans love to hate could be set for a sensational return to Stamford Bridge, in what would be his third spell at the club.

Since his sacking from Manchester United in December, he has been residing in a punditry position, forced to watch the resurgence of his former side under the new leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The chance to return to west London – close to his family home – and manage in the Premier League once more may be too good of an opportunity to turn down, with his credibility waning following his United struggles.

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