Chelsea are considering a move for either Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo or club legend Frank Lampard if they pull the trigger on Maurizio Sarri’s departure.
Sarri is currently favourite to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job after a disappointing season with Chelsea.
The Italian’s reign at Stamford Bridge started well but he has endured some poor recent results, including a 6-0 loss to Manchester City, which sees them struggle to make the top four.
Now, according to The Sun, club bosses are resigned to the fact that the Italian is not a long-term match for the role and have started to consider alternatives.
They had made Zinedine Zidane their No 1 target but the Frenchman’s decision to return to Real Madrid for a second spell has forced them to look elsewhere.
Espirito Santo is now the prime target after enjoying a sensational debut campaign in the Premier League with Wolves. Since coming up from the Championship last season they look set to secure a top-half finish and are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Lampard, who made 649 appearances and won three league titles and the Champions League at Stamford Bridge, has endured a mixed season at Derby as they flounder outside the Championship play-off places.
Chelsea fans are voting with their feet against Sarri’s dour reign with hundreds of season-ticket holders selling their seats for their upcoming Premier League matches.
There were empty seats at the last home game against Wolves and more are now expected when Brighton, West Ham and Burnley visit Stamford Bridge next month.
It puts further pressure on Sarri as Sportsmail understands a mutinous showing from supporters or boycott would alarm the board and push him closer to the sack.
Roma are reportedly still keen to bring Sarri back to Italy as their manager, despite recently appointing Claudio Ranieri.
They are huge admirers of the 60-year-old for his work in Serie A with Napoli, and reportedly would make a move should he leave Stamford Bridge.
Ranieri took charge of Roma two weeks ago after they sacked Eusebio Di Francesco, but only on a short-term contract.