Chelsea have started the search for their new manager with Antonio Conte increasingly likely to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
The Italian is preparing to move on a year before the expiry of his contract, with the Blues already looking at the contenders to replace him.
Among the frontrunners are the Juventus coach Max Allegri, former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone.
We compare the careers and achievements of the four bosses in the frame for the Stamford Bridge hotseat.
Allegri was the man who succeeded Conte at Juventus and he has successfully managed to maintain their standards domestically as well as lead them to two Champions League finals.
Though contracted to Juventus until 2020, having extended his deal just last year, Allegri does have ambitions to test himself outside of Italy for the first time.
Having bossed two of the Serie A giants in Juve and Milan, Allegri certainly knows what it is like to manage under the pressure of sky-high expectations and still thrive.
He also favours an exciting, attacking brand of football and gets winning results, which would certainly win the favour of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
Luis Enrique has not hidden his desire to coach in England and this could be an opportunity for him to achieve that dream.
Although he is currently out of job, he maintained Barcelona’s golden period of success during his three seasons at the helm, winning two league titles, three Spanish Cups and the Champions League when they defeated Juventus 3-1 in 2015.
This impressive CV, his relative youth, and the attractive brand of football he championed at the Nou Camp will all be appealing to Chelsea. Next in line is Maurizio Sarri who served his time in Italy’s lower leagues before getting a break at Empoli and then his home city club Napoli in 2015.
A tactical and technological innovator who makes a massively positive impression with his players, Sarri has been lauded for embracing a style of football that is very pleasing on the eye.
No less than Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola described Napoli as one of the most exciting teams to watch in Europe right now and they are leading Serie A at the midway point.
Though he would undoubtedly bring entertaining football to Stamford Bridge, he hasn’t coached outside Italy and he hasn’t yet won any silverware. Then enter Diego Simeone who has been linked with a number of top clubs in recently but who will be difficult to price away from Atletico Madrid where he has a contract till 2020.
Hailed for transforming an unfashionable and underachieving team into achievers both in Spain and the European competitions, Simeone certainly isn’t short on passion.
His animated touchline antics are pretty similar to Conte’s, though his approach tactically may not be to Chelsea tastes.
But guiding Atletico to two Champions League finals, beating a raft of top quality opponents along the way, has confirmed Simeone is a man who can mix it with the best bosses.
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