Chelsea are thought to be looking at hiring a temporary manager to look after the side until summer.
The theory is that the Blues will only be able to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari with a world-class manager at the end of the season, with AC Milan's Carlo Ancelotti widely believed to be the No.1 target.
However, there remains the small matter of their Champions League campaign, not to mention their need to qualify for next season's competition by finishing in the top four domestically – by no means certain after a poor recent run.
With such urgent matters at hand, the Blues will turn their thoughts to well-renowned managers currently out of work, like former Internazionale coach Roberto Mancini, ex-Barçelona boss Frank Rijkaard – and Avram Grant.
Indeed, club owner Roman Abramovich may again turn to Grant, who replaced Jose Mourinho last season and guided the Blues to the Champions League final, if Mancini and Rijkaard baulk at the idea of being a footballing sticking plaster – although the Dutchman's agent this morning expressed an interest in speaking to Chelsea.
Rijkaard's compatriot Guus Hiddink has long been seen as Abramovich's No.1 target – the Chelsea owner pays part of his wage as Russia coach. However, while Hiddink's agent says the Dutchman will speak to Abramovich, the coach wants to lead Russia to the 2010 World Cup finals – which would be his fourth successive qualification with a different country.
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