Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho celebrates

The Special One has endured a torrid start to the campaign at Stamford Bridge – could any of these lot do a better job?

Just months after lifting the title, Chelsea find themselves at the wrong end of the Premier League table.The Blues have lost seven of games so far.

Jose Mourinho responded to that setback by stating the board would have to sack him – as he would not walk away from Stamford Bridge.

So what could Chelsea do next? Here are five contenders to replace The Special One if he does end up leaving Stamford Bridge.

 

Pep Gurdiola

The Bayern Munich chief is going to be linked with every big job going, isn’t he?

Manchester United made a move before the David Moyes era, while Guardiola has been tipped to take over at both Arsenal and Manchester City in the future.

So of course, Chelsea are going to be taking a look.Guardiola has showcased his abilities in Spain and now Germany, with similar success and a move to the Premier League could well appeal to him.

From one serial winner to another, perhaps?

Odds – 4/1

Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti

The return of the Italian would certainly raise an eyebrow or too at Stamford Bridge. Ancelotti guided Chelsea to a Premier League and FA Cup double in his first spell in charge before being sacked in the Goodison Park corridor a year later.

He left Real Madrid in the summer and has since taken a break from football – although he was linked with the Liverpool hot seat recently.

Ancelotti has indicated he will return to management next season but a top job is likely to tempt him. Chelsea have gone back to what they know before, of course.

Odds – 8/1

Diego Simeone

The Atletico Madrid boss would definitely be in demand if he decided it was time for a new challenge after four-and-a-half years in charge at the Vicente Calderon.

Simeone won the La Liga title in 2014, breaking Real Madrid and Barcelona’s duopoly in Spain.

He reached the Champions League final in the same season, with only an injury-time Sergio Ramos header denying his team a famous win.

Atletico didn’t win anything last season, but Simeone kept them relevant, guiding them to third in La Liga and a respectable quarter-final berth in the Champions League.

However, with no disrespect to Atletico, it’s reasonable to assume he has aspirations of managing one of Europe’s elite clubs.

Simeone has a no nonsense style and would take no prisoners at Stamford Bridge.

Odds – 12-1

Antonio Conte

Reports surfaced earlier this week linking Italy manager Conte with Mourinho’s job. Gazzetta dello Sport reckon Chelsea are interested in handing the Italy manager the reins at Stamford Bridge.

Conte burst onto the management scene in Italy when he guided Bari to the Serie B title in 2009 and almost did the same with Siena two years later.

The 46-year-old was appointed as manager of Juventus in 2011 and led them to three consecutive Serie A successes before resigning in 2014 and taking charge of the national team shortly after.

His experience – playing and managing – lies solely in Italy and he would certainly be a left field choice to succeed Mourinho should he depart

Odds – 14-1

Gus Poyet

Poyet was given a taste of Premier League management with Sunderland in October 2013 but was sacked earlier this year with the club in a relegation dogfight.

He kept the club in the top flight in the season he took over but Black Cats board pounced at the chance to replace him with Dick Adovcaat when the going got tough once more.

Granted, Sunderland didn’t impress in the lead-up to his departure, but it’s probably unfair to judge his management credentials from his time at a club which has finished in the bottom half of the table in every season bar one since their return to the top flight in 2007.

With the resources available at Chelsea, Poyet could prove himself to be a decent manager, and he’d benefit from the fans’ support due to the time he spent with the Blues during his playing career.

His inexperience at the top level will more than likely cost him a shot, though.

Odds – 20/1

-Mirror