Six possible replacements for Frank Lampard at Chelsea…

Ian Watson

Frank Lampard is clinging on to his job. Reports suggest Chelsea are already identifying possible replacements. Here are six…


Max Allegri
Current status: Available
Previous clubs managed: Aglianese, Real SPAL, Grosseto, Sassuolo, Cagliari, AC Milan, Juventus
Major honours won: Serie A (6), Coppa Italia (4)
Career win percentage: 54%

While Allegri’s career break isn’t exactly stretching to Laurent Blanc extremes, the Italian has been out of the game for a year and a half. No-one needs to spend that much time with their family.

Allegri was linked with Chelsea when Maurizio Sarri’s services were dispensed with in 2019 but the former Juve manager reportedly didn’t fancy working under a transfer embargo. Lampard took that hit and was rewarded with a splurge last summer. Not that it has done him much good.

Chelsea certainly won’t find a more decorated coach when they peruse the list of available managers, but that track record reportedly comes at a price. Allegri is said to have been PSG’s first choice when they appointed Mauricio Pochettino but the 53-year-old wanted around £10million a season to boss the Parisiens. That’s around double the amount Chelsea currently pay Lampard, though it’s hardly Klopp or Mourinho money. And Pep Guardiola is on double again.


Thomas Tuchel
Current status: Available
Previous clubs managed: Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain
Major honours won: Ligue Un (2), Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, DFB Pokal
Career win percentage: 57%

Tuchel has been unemployed for barely a week but, like Allegri, the German apparently has his mind set on his next job being in the Premier League, with Bild reporting that the 47-year-old ‘won’t stay long in his Munich condominium’ as the Chelsea hot-seat is firmly in his sights.

Having shaped PSG’s party boys into a side capable of reaching the Champions League final, Tuchel may wonder why Lampard is making such a faff of getting a tune out of Chelsea’s expensively-assembled squad.

Timo Werner and Kai Havertz are Chelsea’s two biggest enigmas at present and the prospect of working with a German coach would probably appeal to the £120million pair. Or, in Havertz’s case, just a coach who will put him in the team.

However, it probably won’t escape Abramovich that Tuchel has a tendency to rub his bosses up the wrong way. He struggled to get on with the hierarchy at Dortmund and clashed with a couple of sporting directors at PSG. Even though his fate had reportedly already been decided, his interview where he stated that he felt more like a politician or sports minister at PSG rather than a coach is said to have been the final straw.

Tuchel will also be weighing up his other potential options. He has been linked with Barcelona and the Germany national team job for later in the year.

Tuchel interested in Chelsea job because of three players


John Terry
Current status: Employed as Aston Villa’s assistant manager
Previous clubs managed:
Major honours won:
Career win percentage:

They wouldn’t, would they?

You would think having to axe one club legend would make Chelsea wary about hiring another, especially one with even less managerial experience than Lampard when he got the gig. But, Chelsea…

No, they wouldn’t. It’d be brilliant if they did, but Petr Cech seems far too level-headed to do something as daft. The massive spoilsport. Next…


Nuno Espirito Santo
Current status: Wolves manager
Previous clubs managed: Rio Ave, Valencia, Porto
Major honours won: –
Career win percentage: 48.63%

If Chelsea wanted to look within the Premier League for fresh managerial talent, Nuno, Brendan Rodgers and Ralph Hasenhuttl might be the names at the top of the list.

Things are going swimmingly for Hasenhuttl at Southampton. The former RB Leipzig manager has Saints on the same points tally as Chelsea having played a game less, all the while catching everyone’s eye with a clear and attractive style. It seems Hasenhuttl will get his big chance sooner rather than later, but the Alpine Klopp should be in no hurry. Similar goes for Rodgers at Leicester.

Nuno isn’t in a rush either, but if the Wolves manager is looking for a good time to make a break from Molineux, now is as good a time as any since he arrived in England. The Portuguese coach has established Wolves as a Premier League force and taken them to the Europa League quarter-finals after bringing them up from the Championship in 2018. Since then, Nuno has attracted attention from clubs such as Arsenal, and he was linked with the Chelsea gig when Lampard got his chance. Now, though, the Wolves boss is under some real scrutiny for the first time during his reign. After three years on an upward trajectory, that progress has been somewhat checked, and Nuno is scratching around for answers. He has altered the system and made numerous changes in personnel and those tweaks are taking a little time to adjust to.

That is not to say Wolves are looking to get rid – quite the opposite. Aside from the terrific progress he has made, the club’s ties with Jorge Mendes, Nuno’s agent, put the manager in a privileged position. But should Chelsea offer him the opportunity to get a tune out of their talented and vastly-expensively assembled squad, then it may be harder for Nuno to turn down the chance than it was in the past.

16 Conclusions: Chelsea 1-3 Manchester City


Julian Nagelsmann
Current status: RB Leipzig manager
Previous clubs managed: Hoffenheim
Major honours won: –
Career win percentage: 47%

Nagelsmann is the dream appointment for owners across Europe. But the 33-year-old seems to have unfinished business in Leipzig. Nagelsmann has his side in a Bundesliga title race with Bayern Munich and once more in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

“I can assure you that Julian will be our coach next season,” RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff said before Christmas. “He feels comfortable, he has built a great team here. There is no reason for him to start packing his bags. We are completely relaxed.”

Nagelsmann certainly seems to have put his club at ease and, in any case, there is no rush. The former Hoffenheim coach has plenty of time to continue building his reputation at Leipzig before handpicking the destination and timing of his next move.


Rafa Benitez
Current status: Dalian Professional manager
Previous clubs managed:  Real Valladolid,  Osasuna,  Extremadura, Tenerife,  Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea (interim), Napoli, Real Madrid, Newcastle
Major honours won: Champions League, Europa League (2), FIFA Club World Cup, La Liga (2), FA Cup, Coppa Italia
Career win percentage: 49%

Benitez’s shadow may remain on Tyneside, following Steve Bruce’s every move, but the Spaniard is in China as coach of Dalian Professional. Though it is hard to imagine that he would turn down another plea from Abramovic to come and sort Chelsea’s sh*t out if the promise of more time comes with it.

That probably would not go down well with Chelsea supporters – they had their felt tips out in force the last time Benitez replaced a Shed End favourite in 2012. But Roman and Rafa remain on good terms, with the job the manager did in winning the Europa League and earning a third-place finish still fresh in the mind.

Chelsea fans might be more open than they were last time to another short-term arrangement where Benitez arrives to save the season, but another interim stint isn’t likely to appeal to the manager.

Ian Watson