Next Chelsea manager candidates: Who could replace Jose Mourinho? Antonio Conte, Juande Ramos, Diego Simeone, Pep Guardiola and other candidates

Joe Hall
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Going, going, gone? Will Mourinho be able to ride out the season at Chelsea? (Source: Getty)

Roman Abramovich is searching for a new Chelsea manager after sacking Jose Mourinho following a disastrous start to the Premier League season.

It is the 11th managerial change of the Abramovich era at Stamford Bridge and brings Mourinho's second spell in charge to an end after less than three seasons.

Read more: Defeat to Foxes cranks up pressure on forlorn Mourinho

Whoever replaces Mourinho - Chelsea's most successful ever manager - will be tasked with instigating an immediate upturn in form with the Blues currently 16th and just one point above the relegation zone.

Here's some of the likely (and not so likely) candidates for the role.

Antonio Conte

Italy boss and former Juventus manager Conte is reported to be top of Abramovich's most wanted list. The Italian led Juve to three consecutive league titles - a feat never accomplished by Mourinho - yet would be unlikely to abandon his country before Euro 2016 and also has the spectre of a match-fixing charges during his time at Siena hanging over him.

Carlo Ancelotti

‚Äč A familiar face at Stamford Bridge, where he won a league and cup double in his first season, Ancelotti would represent a safe pair of hands to the bruised egos in Chelsea's dressing room.

Following spells at Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, where he kept collections of competing superstars content, the Italian is unemployed so could be available at speed without the hassle of negotiating compensation payments with another club.

Juande Ramos

Former Tottenham manager Ramos, who was dismissed from White Hart Lane in 2008 with Spurs bottom of the Premier League, has emerged as a shock candidate on Chelsea's short list of potential interim replacements.

Pep Guardiola

No elite club conducts a search for a new manager without first investigating to the availability of trophy magnet/football philosopher Pep Guardiola these days, but the two-time Champions League winner would be impossible to prise away from Bayern Munich before his contract expires at the end of the season and has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester after.

Diego Simeone

A La Liga title and Champions League final with Atletico Madrid have made Diego Simeone is one of Europe's most highly-qualified young managers but will come at a cost after agreeing an contract until 2020 with the club earlier this year.

Guus Hiddink

Hiddink stepped in to steady the Chelsea ship after Luiz Felipe Scolari's ill-fated spell in 2009, leading the club to an FA Cup final win, and has admitted he would be attracted to the job again should it become available.

Whether it would become available following disappointing spells with Turkey and Netherlands is another question entirely.

Rafael Benitez

The appointment would go down like a lead balloon amongst Chelsea's fans, but like Avram Grant and Hiddink before him, Benitez performed an admirable repair job to the Blues' 2012/13 season that ended with Europa League triumph and Benitez's reputation enhanced. Chelsea and Benitez could look for another mutually beneficial agreement should the Spaniard get sacked for a poor start at Real Madrid.

John Terry

"Captain, leader, legend" Terry has taken training sessions of Chelsea youth teams, possesses unrivalled status in the dressing room and would immediately win the support of an adoring fanbase.

Abramovich has made maverick appointments in the past (Avram Grant, Roberto Di Matteo) but handing Terry the reins in such trying circumstances could be a risk too far.

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