Chelsea will step up their search for a new manager after Roman Abramovich sacked Andre Villas-Boas. The Russian owner finally lost patience with Villas-Boas and he is now looking for an eighth new manager in as many seasons, with Paddy Power making Rafa Benitez and former Blues boss Jose Mourinho early frontrunners in the next Chelsea manager betting.
Villas-Boas faced inevitable comparisons with Mourinho after arriving at Stamford Bridge for £13.3 million from Porto last June. However, the 34-year-old had overseen a dismal run as Chelsea have won just three of their last twelve matches in the Premier League.
Roberto Di Matteo, the former assistant to Villas-Boas, will take over at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season and he faces a huge FA Cup match with Birmingham and a crunch Champions League clash with Napoli a week later. Di Matteo is 9/2 to take over the job full-time after being sacked by West Brom last February but it seems likely that Abramovich will look for a more experienced boss.
Mourinho certainly fits the bill as a manager with plenty of experience after he won the league twice, the Carling Cup twice and the FA Cup once during his three years at Chelsea. He has continued his success since leaving Stamford Bridge by winning the Champions League with Inter and it is the Champions League crown that Abramovich craves most. Mourinho is keen on a move back to England this summer, despite currently topping La Liga with Real Madrid, and Paddy Power go 2/1 for him to be next Chelsea manager.
However, how keen will Abramovich be to bring Mourinho back to Stamford Bridge after he left in such acrimonious circumstances in 2007? Rafa Benitez, the 7/4 favourite in the next Chelsea manager betting, might be a more viable alternative and he had reportedly been sounded out about the Chelsea job before Villas-Boas was sacked. Benitez has a Champions League title with Liverpool on his CV, although he has been out of work since he was sacked after just six months in charge at Inter Milan last December.
Meanwhile, if Abramovich is looking for a man who knows how to win the Champions League he could do worse than make a move for Pep Guardiola, who could offer value at 6/1 in the betting with Paddy Power. Guardiola, a two-time Champions League winner with Barcelona, has yet to agree a new contract with the La Liga giants and his current deal expires this summer.
Fabio Capello is another alternative and despite his disappointing stint with England he has won a league title at every club side he has managed. He won Serie A seven times at AC Milan, Roma and Juventus, as well as the Champions League, while he won La Liga with Real Madrid, with paddypower pricing him 9/1 to take over at Stamford Bridge.
Harry Redknapp is the odds on favourite to replace Fabio Capello as next England manager but could he be tempted to move across London from Tottenham to Chelsea instead? Redknapp is currently a 20/1 chance to be next Chelsea boss.
The value pick in the betting could be Guus Hiddink at 16/1 with Paddy Power. Hiddink was caretaker boss at Stamford Bridge for four months in 2009 and he only lost one match during that time, winning the FA Cup in process. The only stumbling block to a possible approach from Chelsea could be the fact that the Dutchman took over at Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala last month.
7/4 Rafa Benitez
2/1 Jose Mourinho
9/2 Roberto Di Matteo
6/1 Pep Guardiola
9/1 Fabio Capello
14/1 Didier Deschamps
16/1 Guus Hiddink
20/1 Joachim Low
20/1 David Moyes
20/1 Harry Redknapp
22/1 Brendan Rodgers
Odds supplied by PaddyPower.com, who provide a variety of football specials betting markets.
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