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The five favourites to become Chelsea’s next manager

Maurizio Sarri seems almost certain to leave Chelsea this summer, with the Italian set for a return to Serie A after just one season in the Premier League.

Should, as expected, Sarri leave Stamford Bridge and join Juventus, the club will be once again seeking a new manager as they prepare to return to the Champions League.

Here are the five favourites to become Chelsea’s next manager…

Jose Mourinho 18/1

Could the ‘Special One’ return for a third spell at Stamford Bridge? The Portuguese has refused to rule out a return to Chelsea, though the possibility appears unlikely.

Having won back-to-back titles in his first spell at the club, before another title in his second, the 56-year-old certainly has the experience and pedigree to be a success in West London.

After his tenure at Manchester United ended in dismal fashion, Mourinho is yet to return to management but has spoken of adapting his methods as he seeks his next challenge.

Linked recently with the likes of Roma and Newcastle, Mourinho returning to Chelsea would represent somewhat of a shock, after twice being sacked by the club.

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Steve Holland 16/1

An outside contender, England assistant manager Steve Holland would represent a gamble should he be appointed at Chelsea.

An assistant throughout the majority of his career, Holland has little head-coaching experience though he possesses all the qualities to make the step up to management.

Holland previously spent eight years at Chelsea in reserve team and assistant roles, with the 49-year-old having a wealth of knowledge on the set-up at Stamford Bridge.

Gareth Southgate has said he hopes Holland remains with England, though the Three Lions boss could not begrudge his assistant the opportunity should he be offered a senior role at Stamford Bridge.

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Javi Gracia 14/1

The Watford manager enjoyed an impressive first full season at Vicarage Road, leading the club to only their second FA Cup final and an 11th-place league finish.

Gracia’s ability to work under a technical director is said to appeal to the hierarchy at Stamford Bridge, whilst the Spaniard has a wealth of experience at clubs such as Rubin Kazan and Malaga.

The 49-year-old led Watford to a record Premier League points haul last season, demonstrating his ability to improve a side on a limited financal budget.

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Max Allegri 5/1

Ironically, the man to replace Sarri at Chelsea could be the man he is replacing at Juventus.

Allegri’s departure from the Italian champions came somewhat as a surprise, having led the Turin side to five consecutive Serie A titles in a period of domestic dominance.

The Italian possesses the pedigree to handle the pressure at Stamford Bridge, having proven his ability to manage big-name players during a five-year stay at Italy’s biggest club.

Allegri is a proven winner and has experience of managing at the highest level, making him an ideal candidate to replace Sarri.

However, whether he will want to join a club that may not be able to sign players for the next two transfer windows remains to be seen.

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Frank Lampard 1/6

The bookmakers clear favourite and a candidate who would be a popular choice amongst the Chelsea faithful, club legend Lampard enjoyed an impressive first year in management at Derby County.

The 40-year-old led the Midlands outfit to the Championship play-off final, whilst showcased his faith in youth by giving opportunities to the likes of Mason Mount and Harry Wilson.

Lampard’s appointment would prove a gamble due to his lack of managerial experience, however his links to the club and reputation with the fans are likely to give him time to get things right.

Chelsea’s next manager will be working under the difficulties of their two-window transfer ban and Lampard’s popularity may just earn him some slack during a testing time for the club.

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