Allegri, Lampard and the coaches who could replace Sarri if he leaves Chelsea

The Italian coach is expected to leave Stamford Bridge and return to Italy after just one season in London, but who could replace him?

Maurizio Sarri is still Chelsea manager – but not for much longer.

The Italian coach was expected to be sacked earlier in the season following a disastrous 6-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City, but managed to survive in his post for the remainder of the campaign. He eventually secured a third-place league finish as well as the Europa League trophy.

He is, however, known to be leaving his post at Stamford Bridge imminently for a move back to Italy, with Juventus his likeliest destination.

Goal takes a look at his leading candidates below...

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    Gianfranco Zola

    Chelsea could be tempted to follow in the footsteps of Man United and hire a club legend. 

    Gianfranco Zola worked as Sarri's assistant and was the obvious choice to replace the Italian should he have been sacked prior to the end of the season. 

    As well as being one of the finest players ever to represent Chelsea, Zola also has plenty of experience of managing in England, though his spells at West Ham, Watford and Birmingham City were short and not particularly sweet. 

    Still, if Chelsea want to replicate the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer effect by hiring a fan favourite who also commands the respect of the dressing room, they need look no further than Zola. 

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    Massimiliano Allegri

    Should Sarri head to Juventus, he could be going for a straight swap with Allegri, who was most recently manager at the Old Lady since 2014. 

    The Italian won five straight Serie A titles during his time in Turin and finished as Champions League runners-up twice, in 2015 and 2017. 

    He doesn't have much experience managing outside of Italy, however, managing Milan and Sassuolo prior to his time at Juventus. 

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    Frank Lampard

    It would be the stuff of fairy tale for club legend Frank Lampard to return to Chelsea as manager. 

    The former Blues midfielder is in charge of Derby County and made headlines earlier this season as his Championship outfit knocked a Mourinho-led Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup, as well as reaching the final of the Championship play-offs in his debut season. 

    Like Zola, Lampard is a fan favourite who would be very familiar with the philosophy and inner-workings of Chelsea. 

    Lampard has already long been considered a front-runner to replace Sarri, with the club to meet with the former midfielder for further talks.

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    Erik ten Hag

    Ten Hag has quietly built a solid reputation for himself around Europe as he took Dutch side Ajax to the semi-finals of the 2018-19 Champions League.  

    Ajax, massively considered dark horses in the competition, managed to defy expectations and knocked out defending champions Real Madrid in the last-16 stage and eliminated favourites Juventus in the quarter-finals.

    The Dutch manager has been considered for the Chelsea position, although he is cautious about signing on at Stamford Bridge due to the transfer ban that is currently in place.


    Diego Simeone

    Diego Simeone has gained a reputation as one of the most respected coaches in Europe during his time at Atletico Madrid.

    In his eight years with the Rojiblancos, he has transformed them into a Spanish powerhouse capable of challenging Barcelona and Real Madrid for Liga titles.

    The Argentine, however, could soon be looking for a fresh challenge as he marks nearly a decade in Madrid, and a new adventure in England could be too good of an opportunity to pass up.

    He has a proven track record in winning silverware – seven trophies and counting at Atletico – and has also led his side to two Champions League finals.

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    Steve Holland

    A quiet potential candidate for the Chelsea job is Holland, Gareth Southgate's assistant manager at England

    He was first appointed assistant manager to the England Under-21s under Southgate in 2013 before becoming assistant manager for the senior level. 

    Holland already has extensive previous experience managing at Chelsea, albeit in an assistant role to former coaches Andre-Villas Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho. 

    He did take temporary charge for a Premier League fixture against Sunderland following Mourinho's dismissal, and became assistant manager to Guus Hiddink for the remainder of the 2015–2016 season and then to Antonio Conte. 

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    Leonid Slutsky

    Leonid Slutsky won't be too familiar a name in England, though he managed CSKA Moscow for seven years before a brief stint with Hull City in 2017.

    The Russian coach is currently manager of Dutch side Vitesse and not exactly a glamorous suggestion for a Sarri replacement.

    However, he has a positive personal relationship with Abramovich, which could well work in his favour.

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    Laurent Blanc

    Laurent Blanc was a name considered by Chelsea before they appointed Sarri and could be in contention once again to take over from the Tuscan.  

    As manager of the France national team, Blanc led Les Bleus to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 before taking charge of the Ligue 1 giants PSG in 2013. 

    At the Parc de Princes, Blanc won 11 domestic trophies, including three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, though his lack of success in Europe ultimately cost him his job. 

    In addition, Blanc has no Premier League experience but it would be a surprise if he were not at least considered for any potential vacancy at Stamford Bridge. 

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    Luis Enrique

    Like Blanc, Luis Enrique was another contender when Chelsea were looking for a replacement for Antonio Conte.

    He has proven his worth as Barcelona coach, winning a treble in his first season at Camp Nou, in 2014-15, and then the double in his second.

    Luis Enrique currently has his hands full as Spain national team coach, however, and looks determined to put La Roja back among the game's elite at Euro 2020.

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    Eddie Howe

    Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe already has the support of pundit Jamie Redknapp, who believes that his success with the Cherries has earned him a move to a top-six club.

    Howe has certainly done an impressive job at Dean Court since taking charge in 2012 and leading the club back to the Premier League in 2015.

    A stint at Chelsea may be too big a task for him right now and perhaps the Blues aren't ones for taking a chance on emerging talent – especially if their lack of faith in their own youth academy is anything to go by.