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Football
Who next at Chelsea?
Roman Abramovich begins the hunt for the toughest job in English football. We preview the contenders.
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2011 10:37
Out of favour: Ancelotti watches the clock tick down at Everton on the last day of the EPL season [GALLO/GETTY]

As the final whistle blew at Goodison Park, there was a slight look of resignation from the usual emotionless face of Carlo Ancelotti.

It wasn't the fact that it was the last game of the English Premier League season, nor was it that his side had just lost 1-0 to Everton.

It was a look of a man who knew the score of what was about to happen - that his tenure at Chelsea was about to be over.

However, neither he nor anyone at Chelsea could have envisaged the manner of his dismissal. Told in a corridor just minutes after the final that he wasn't going to be at Stamford Bridge next season was ruthless even by Roman Abramovic's standards.

Even Milan President Silvio Berlusconi wasn't so brutal when parting company with Ancelotti, after his eight year spell at the San Siro.

Ultimate prize

It's been no secret that the European Champions League remains the ultimate prize for the Chelsea owner, with many even calling it an obsession.

Ancelotti, a four-time winner of the European trophy as player and manager at Milan, was brought in to provide Abramovich with what he has sought after for so long. But like many before him, his failure in doing so was enough for Abramovich to wield the axe in an all too familiar scenario seen time and again at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian now joins Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant who have all felt the force of the Russian's wrath, succumbing to a short stay at the West London Club.

So what next for Chelsea?

There has been much speculation about who will be next man in at Chelsea and we have whittled down the five, rumoured to be in contention.

Marco Van Basten

Former Dutch international and national team coach, Van Basten has been touted as one of the leading front runners for the job. He has been out of management for over two years, since leaving Ajax after a poor spell, but comes highly recommended by close friend and ally Guus Hiddink.

Guus Hiddink

Hiddink has remained in touch with Abramovich, providing unpaid advice [GALLO/GETTY]

Hiddink, himself is one of the favourites from the list of contenders.

Currently, manager of the Turkey national team, Hiddink is one of Abramovic's closest advisers and is seen as an obvious candidate to take the reins at Stamford Bridge.

Their friendship was there for all to see when he came in at short notice to become interim manager at Chelsea, helping them lift the FA Cup in 2009.

Frank Rijkaard

Former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard completes the trio of Dutchman in line for the job. Rijkaard has kept a low profile since leaving Catalonia, with only a season-long spell at Turkish side Galatasaray.

He had many battles with Chelsea during his time at Barcelona and many believe he has the right pedigree to not only handle Chelsea's superstars, but to instil a culture of attractive, free-flowing football which they currently don't possess.

Harry Redknapp

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp's name is being whispered around West London.

Coming off the back of a successful season with Tottenham, Redknapp took Tottenham to the summit of football's elite – the Champions League. However, as the main guy to take over from Fabio Capello as the next England boss and reported acrimony with the Spurs board, there are serious doubts as to whether Redknapp will be at White Hart Lane for much longer. Could a move to their London rivals really be possible?

Andre Villas Boas

The new kid on the block, Boas has garnered a lot of praise and accolades for being one of the hottest young managers in European football. Branded as the 'next Mourinho', Boas led his home town club Porto to glory this season, winning the title in Portugal and the Europa League.

At just 33 years old, Boas is certainly hot property with a number of clubs, including Milan and Inter who are all vying for his services. He has stated he would like to fellow his mentor Mourinho to London.

Whether he has set his sights on Chelsea, only time will tell. 

Whoever takes charge, it needs to be a man who will have to perform surgery to resurrect an already aging Chelsea squad.

New additions are a must.

He would also need to have the ability to bring the best out of Fernando Torres, a man struggling with fitness and form. But most importantly, he would need to bring success to Stamford Bridge to satisfy a Russian, with love.

Asam Shah is a freelance digital journalist based in the UK. Follow him on Twitter @AsamPlusONE or see his website www.projeqt.com/asam

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