Who Will Succeed Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea?

DEAD AccountContributor IMarch 24, 2011

Who Will Succeed Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea?

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    Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay told the BBC on Sunday morning ahead of the game with Manchester City that Chelsea will judge the performance of manager Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the season and "review" his position at the club.

    "Carlo has a contract until end of 2012," Gourlay told the BBC. "Let's see where we are at the end of May then we'll judge the coach and other people at the football club."

    Ancelotti has been constantly linked with a move away from West London following the brutal sacking of assistant Ray Wilkins and the poor run of results that followed. A whole host of clubs would gladly welcome Carletto with Roma reportedly waiting in the wings to snap up their former fan favourite.

    Should the man Chelsea fans dubbed "King Carlo" leave his post, here is a look at some of the potential candidates for the job.

Guus Hiddink

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    Age: 63

    Current Team: Turkey

    Managerial Honours: Eredivisie (six), KNVB Cup (four), UEFA Champions League, FA Cup

    The Dutch master achieved worldwide fame by leading South Korea to the 2002 World Cup semifinals and previously had two successful spells at PSV. A close personal friend of Chelsea supremo Roman Abramovich, Hiddink was brought in following the sacking of Big Phil Scolari in 2009 and lead Chelsea to FA Cup success.

    A proven tactician and astute man manager, the Dutchman would also have the support of the fans and players, who appealed for him to stay on permanently.

    The only stumbling block may be his current contract with Turkey. Hiddink has always insisted he is a man of his word and previously refused to renege on his contract with Russia and take over full-time at Chelsea. This hurdle may also have been overcome with Hiddink recently stating that he would tender his resignation should he fail to qualify for Euro 2012.

    Chances: 9/10

Frank Rijkaard

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    Age: 48

    Free Agent

    Managerial Honours: La Liga (two), Supercopa de Espana (two), UEFA Champions League

    The successful Barcelona manager was heavily linked to the club before Ancelotti was appointed in 2009. Rijkaard has previously shown his commitment to playing attractive, attacking football with a winning mentality, as well as being a capable man manager.

    However, the Dutchman has been criticized for his tactics during the later years of his stay at the Catalan club and his following stint at Galatasaray.

    Worth noting is Rijkaard's relationship with Txiki Begiristain, the man reportedly being lined up as the new director of football at Chelsea; should Begiristain get the job, he will be keen to bring Rijkaard to Chelsea and renew a fruitful relationship.

    Chances: 7/10

Louis van Gaal

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    Age: 59

    Current Team: Bayern Munich

    Managerial Honours: Eredivisie (four), KNVB Cup, La Liga (two), Copa del Rey, Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, DFB-Supercup, UEFA Super Cup (two), UEFA Cup, UEFA Champions League

    Once mooted as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, this Dutchman is small on talk but big on titles. He led Ajax to three Eredivisie titles, a Champions League and a UEFA Cup. He won two league titles and a Copa del Rey at Barcelona. He led AZ Alkmaar to the title. And last season, he led Bayern Munich to the German title and cup double as well as the Champions League final.

    This season has not gone to plan for the Bavarians and van Gaal announced he will leave at the end of the season.

    The authoritarian Dutchman would be a serious candidate but has a reputation for falling out with club directors and has had repeated run-ins with the media. How he would cope with the interfering Abramovich and the suffocating, intrusive English press would be a worry. 

    Chances: 6/10

José Mourinho

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    Age: 48

    Current Team: Real Madrid

    Managerial Honours: Primeira Liga (two),Taça de Portugal,  Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, Premier League (two), League Cup (two), FA Cup, Supercoppa Italiana, Serie A (two), Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup, UEFA Champions League (two)

    The prodigal son returns?

    The self-proclaimed Special One is the most successful manager in Chelsea history and left West London on 20 September 2007 "by mutual consent," after a series of disagreements with Roman Abramovich.

    Currently at Real Madrid but reportedly unhappy with Florentino Perez and needing the Champions League to save his job, the enigmatic Portuguese man has said his next job will be in England. Should he decide to bury the hatchet with Abramovich, he would be welcomed back with open arms by both the fans and the press alike—though opposition fans and managers might not be so happy.

    Chances: 5/10

Pep Guardiola

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    Age: 40

    Current Team: FC Barcelona

    Managerial Honours: La Liga (two), Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España (two), UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup

    The incredibly young and successful Catalan manager's refusal to commit to a long-term contract and reported differences with the Barcelona hierarchy have seen him linked with Chelsea. An able tactician and man manager, Guardiola would be ideal for the long term and his attractive style of play would please Abramovich.

    The aforementioned Txiki Begiristain was reportedly behind the initial appointment of Guardiola and should he be appointed as director of football at Chelsea, he may seek to pry Barcelona's prized son away from them. However, Guardiola is Barcelona through and through and will probably remain in Catalonia for some time.

    Chances: 4/10


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    Andre Villas-Boas: Currently unbeaten in the league with FC Porto and dubbed the new Mourihno; previously worked at Chelsea under Mourinho. Chances: 4/10.

    Avram Grant: Former Chelsea manager and an associate of Abramovich currently in a relegation scrap with West Ham; would be an unpopular choice with the fans. Chances: 4/10.

    Didier Deschamps: Former Chelsea player and current Olympique de Marseille manager. Chances: 3/10.

    Bernd Schuster: Former Real Madrid manager; an outside choice. Chances: 3/10.

    Manuel Pellegrini: Former Real Madrid Manager; currently at Málaga CF; led Real to highest-ever points tally but sacked at the end of last season. Chances: 3/10.

    Mark Hughes: Former Chelsea player and current Fulham manager; would be an unlikely choice. Chances: 2/10.

    Gianfranco Zola: Voted Chelsea's greatest ever player; would be a rookie and risky choice but hugely popular with the West London faithful. Chances: 1/10.

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