LONDON. — Chelsea are drawing up a contingency list of managerial targets that includes Eddie Howe, Mark Hughes and Claudio Ranieri in case the club cannot land a stellar name this summer.
With the Manchester City and Manchester United target Pep Guardiola seemingly out of their reach, Chelsea have identified Atlético Madrid’s Diego Simeone and the Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri as their top choices to take over as the club’s next permanent manager.
However, with Chelsea facing the very real prospect of missing out on Champions League qualification and possibly even finishing in the bottom half of the English Premier League soccer table, the club’s hierarchy are having to contemplate more achievable alternatives.
That means Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, may be forced to consider hiring his first British manager or bringing Ranieri back to the club.
Howe has drawn admirers within the corridors of power at Chelsea’s Cobham training base for his work with Bournemouth, while there is support for turning to Hughes, the former Chelsea player who is now Stoke City manager.
Handing the top job to a 38-year-old Englishman with only 12 months of experience in the Premier League may be a step too far for Abramovich, but Howe is certainly under consideration.
Chelsea’s last permanent English manager was Glenn Hoddle, who was in charge from 1993 to 1996.
Having spent last summer pursuing and failing to sign central defender John Stones and going through a similar goose chase with Wayne Rooney in 2013, Chelsea do not want to be suckered into a fruitless pursuit of a big-name manager. — The Daily Telegraph.