Chelsea’s next permanent manager may already be on these shores

Chelsea may have appointed Guus Hiddink as their interim manager but the saga of who will be in charge at Stamford Bridge next season looks far from clear.

The movement in the betting suggests that the man to take the reins in 2015-16 might be already plying his trade in the Premier League.

On Sunday afternoon Manuel Pellegrini was available to back at 16/1 to be in charge on the opening day next term, but after a steady flow of bets now stands as a 7/1 shot.

While he still has three men ahead of him in the betting, questions remain about all of them leading the club in the long-term.

Favourite Diego Simeone (9/4) responded to speculation linking him to the role, paying tribute to current club Atletico Madrid;

“Why can’t I be here longer? Why did I choose a five-year contract? Because I see a club that is ‘virgin’ and Miguel Angel [Gil Marin, Atletico chief executive] and Enrique [Cerezo, club president] have the ability to open up new sources to strengthen it. It’s not easy to leave Atletico,” he told El Pais.

“More than a team we are a family, and we are a real family. Obviously we have internal problems, there are players who get angry and who will get angry because they don’t play. I am the father and the grandfather is a role for Miguel Angel Gil and Enrique Cerezo.”

Guus Hiddink is a 5/2 shot to continue his spell at the club, but while the club hierarchy can’t expect miracles after their poor start, any doubt will give Roman Abramovich the excuse he needs not to extend his contract.

Pep Guardiola is a 4/1 chance to make west London his home for the next campaign, but with the Bayern Munich boss confirming he is leaving at the end of the season, a gamble has developed for him leading Manchester City out next term.

The Citizens are 1/4 to be the former Barcelona man’s next club, something that suggests the incumbent to the Etihad dugout could yet be given the elbow at the end of the season.

Defeat to Arsenal on Monday night would see City slip four points behind the second-place Gunners and remain six points off Leicester in top-spot.

Failure to win the Premier League for a second successive season could be all it needs for the men in charge to seek a change of manager in the north west, especially with Guardiola set to be available.

That lends weight to the theory that Manuel Pellegrini could swap the blue of City for a slightly darker shade at Chelsea.

The Independent have reported that the Chilean has been ‘contacted’ about succeeding Hiddink in the capital and the betting certainly suggests there could be more in it that mere ‘contact’.

  1. All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.