Blanc joins Jokanovic in frame to replace Conte at Chelsea

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The Blues remain in limbo over their managerial position for next season, with the cost of sacking Antonio Conte proving a sticking point

Laurent Blanc has joined Slavisa Jokanovic as the leading candidates to replace Antonio Conte as Chelsea manager, Goal understands.

The former France manager has even built a plan for who he wants as part of his backroom staff at Stamford Bridge as the Blues' search for a new manager takes a fresh twist.

Chelsea face a financial conundrum over any decision to sack Conte whereby the Italian would be owed a £9 million (€1=$12.1m) compensation figure.

That would, however, be wavered should Real Madrid make an offer to appoint Conte as a replacement for Zinedine Zidane, who resigned from Los Blancos just last week.

Blanc, meanwhile, has lined up Franck Passi, who has previous experience of English football during a short spell with Bolton, as his assistant, while Jean-Lous Gasset, his former deputy, is unlikely to be involved having taken the top job at Saint-Etienne.

Jokanovic is also in the frame for the job at Stamford Bridge and there has been contact between the Fulham boss's entourage and the Blues.

Former Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri, who will be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti, had been the frontrunner to take over from Conte but financial issues have muddied the waters.

The Serie A club's president Aurelio De Laurentiis is demanding £7m ($9.4m) be paid by Chelsea to release the Italian, with Ancelotti waiting in the wings to take over regardless on July 1.

That figure had been Sarri's release clause, but Goal understands that option expired on May 31 - De Laurentiis, though, remains committed to getting a big fee.

Chelsea have cast their net wide and spoken with several names over replacing Conte, whose future has been the subject of much speculation for almost the entire 2017-18 campaign.

Antonio Conte Chelsea

Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique is still reluctant to return to management, despite being identified as a suitable candidate for the role, while Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco has also been considered.

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In terms of the playing staff at the club, Goal understands Eden Hazard is to keen to see a new manager that will play a more exciting brand of football.

With the constant rumours linking the Belgian with a move to Real Madrid, Blues' director Marina Granovskaia is likely to give that due consideration.

David Luiz, meanwhile, is thought to be in support of Blanc being appointed having worked with the Frenchman during their time together at Paris Saint-Germain.

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