Frank Lampard appears to walking the thinnest of tightropes at Chelsea amid reports Roman Abramovich has three candidates in mind to replace him.
The Blues produced a lacklustre performance from start to finish as Leicester ran out confortable 2-0 winners on Tuesday.
An early Wildred Ndidi goal set the tone. Leicester’s second strike came via shambolic defending from Chelsea’s centre-halves.
The result sent the Foxes top of the table. However, all the talk afterwards was switched on Lampard amid claims he is facing the sack.
Chelsea have slipped to eighth and are now six points short of Liverpool in fourth, having played a game more.
During that time – and in the words of the Daily Mirror -‘morale has plummeted’ and an ‘expensively-assembled squad look like total strangers’.
However, growing reports suggest time will not be on his side and that Chelsea are ready to replace him.
Therefore, there have been rumours that Roman Abramovich could sack Lampard and bring in a more experienced replacement.
While such a decision is not expected to be imminent, there are now rumours that the Chelsea owner has been in touch with two potential replacements for Lampard.
According to Christian Falk of SportBild, Chelsea have made initial contact with the entourages of Massimiliano Allegri and Thomas Tuchel.
This is a theory backed up by The Athletic, who claim the duo top Abramovich’s list of replacements.
Allegri has been out of work since leaving Juventus in 2019 after guiding them to five Serie A titles in a row. He also previously led AC Milan to the Italian league title.
Tuchel, meanwhile, recently lost his job as Paris Saint-Germain manager despite leading them to the Champions League final last season.
The German tactician won the Ligue 1 title in each of his two full seasons in charge. However, he could not quite get the trophy they really wanted – even if he went closer than anyone else has for them.
Avram Grant another option
Lampard was last week reported to still have some support within the Chelsea boardroom.
Whether that still remains the case is to be seen.
As such, our sources informed us that Abramovich was considering bringing Avram Grant back in some capacity.
Grant, 65, is currently talking to a number of clubs, mainly in the Middle East. He recently served as a football consultant in Indian football.
Grant knows current boss Lampard well. As such, we understood that some within their boardroom wanted him brought back to assist Lampard. It was thought he could uese his vast football experience to help Lampard and Chelsea out their current predicament.
Grant has always been very close with Abramovich since he bought Chelsea. And it is believed the Russian would like to bring him back into the fold.
However, it now seems Chelsea have moved past bringing in help for Lampard. Indeed, Wednesday’s reports suggest a clean break is far more likely.
Grant could yet be considered as a direct replacement himself. However, it is more probable that Chelsea will bring in a bigger name; hence the links to Tuchel and Allegri.