Former Chelsea captain Frank Lampard is the bookmakers’ favourite to become the next permanent boss as pressure mounts on Maurizio Sarri.
Following Sunday’s 6-0 humiliation at the hands of Manchester City, Sarri’s position has been placed under further scrutiny.
Lampard has impressed so far this season with Derby County in the Championship in what is his first job as a manager since ending his illustrious playing career.
Lampard has been installed as 2/1 favourite with a few firms, edging out three-time Champions League winner Zinedine Zidane, who is yet to return to management since leaving Real Madrid.
Jose Mourinho, sacked by Manchester United in December, is out at 12/1 for a return to Chelsea for a third spell.
Impressive Wolves boss Nuno is with Portuguese compatriot Mourinho at 12/1 while World Cup-winning manager Didier Deschamps is at 16/1.
For Chelsea, their drubbing by City has seen them fall to sixth, denting ambitions of a top-four finish.
Sarri was non-committal after the match when asked if his position is now in serious jeopardy.
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‘You have to ask the club,’ Sarri said amid growing calls for his removal after a fourth defeat in eight games.
‘I’m worried about my team. I’m worried about the performance. My job is always at risk.’
Sarri was asked if he was expecting a call from owner Roman Abramovich, but the answer pointed towards the power structure at Chelsea.
‘If the president calls, I’ll be happy, seeing as I never hear from him,’ he said.
‘To be honest, I don’t know what to expect. I didn’t see my football. At the beginning of the season it worked. Now we need to understand the reasons why it isn’t working. It is not easy.’
Lampard enjoyed a trophy-laden career as a player at Chelsea and would be a hit with supporters if he does one day become first-team manager.
He returned to Stamford Bridge with Derby earlier this season and received a hero’s welcome before his side gave the hosts a scare before losing 3-2.
An under-pressure Sarri must now rouse his players for Thursday’s Europa League knockout tie with Malmo before facing Manchester United in the FA Cup next Monday.