Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is the odds on favourite to become Chelsea’s new manager, following the dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo on Wednesday.
Di Matteo, who lifted the FA Cup and Champions League trophy just six months ago, was given his marching orders following the 3-0 defeat to Juventus, despite the Blues still having a chance of progressing to the next stage of Europe’s top competition.
Victory for Shakhtar Donetsk over Juventus in Ukraine in two weeks would mean that Chelsea would qualify for the last sixteen if they win their home match against Nordsjaelland.
Even so, owner Roman Abramovich is looking to make what will be his eighth managerial appointment in as many years, and Benitez is way ahead of every other name in the running.
The Spaniard has been out of work since his ill-fated spell in charge of Inter Milan, which followed six years at Anfield where he, like Di Matteo, lifted both the FA Cup and the Champions League.
William Hill have the best odds of 1.5 (1/2) for Benitez to take charge at Stamford Bridge, with fellow Spaniard Pep Guardiola next in line.
Guardiola’s CV speaks for itself, though it is common knowledge that the former Barcelona boss is in the middle of a year’s sabbatical from football. However, Stan James offers the best price of 8.0 (7/1) for Abramovic to twist the arm of arguably the best unemployed manager in Europe.
Harry Redknapp, who has most recently been linked with the vacant position with the Ukraine national team, is third favourite with Bet 365 offering the best odds of 13.0 (12/1).
Three former Chelsea managers are outsiders in the market, with Avram Grant and Guus Hiddink both a 41.0 (40/1) shot with Sky Bet, while Stan James offer odds of 51.0 (50/1) for Jose Mourinho to make a dramatic return to the club where he won five major trophies in just over three years.
Russia manager Fabio Cappello is 41.0 (40/1) with Sky Bet, while there may well be many interested in the 67.0 (66/1) on offer from a variety of firms for club captain John Terry to be given the job.