Fulham boss and former Chelsea player Slavisa Jokanovic in contention to replace Antonio Conte
Fulham boss and former Chelsea player Slavisa Jokanovic is a surprise contender to replace Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.
Conte is widely expected to leave the club at the end of the season, with a return to Italy likely for a manager who has cut an increasingly frustrated figure this season.
The 48-year-old won the Premier League in his first season in England but was then left underwhelmed by the club’s transfer business over the summer.
Chelsea’s title defence is already over, with Manchester City moving 25 points clear of the Blues following last Sunday’s 1-0 victory at the Etihad.
Conte is said to be unhappy about his lack of power at Stamford Bridge but he did little to help himself against City, essentially conceding defeat with tactics that were condemned by Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp.
As Chelsea’s board continue to keep an eye on replacements for Conte, the Daily Mail say Jokanovic has emerged as a shock choice for the Premier League club’s board.
Luis Enrique remains the overwhelming favourite to succeed Conte but Jokanovic has impressed the Blues after taking Fulham into the Championship play-offs this season.
The 49-year-old played over 50 games for Chelsea between 2000 and 2002 and has not lost a league game at Fulham since December. The Cottagers are five points off an automatic promotion spot.
Former Manchester United and England defender Neville believes Chelsea may decide to sack Conte if the club get knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona next week.
‘The Chelsea hierarchy have been clinical and brutal in the past,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘The second season for Chelsea managers are notoriously difficult after they’ve won a league.
‘What we’re starting to see is typical Chelsea. If they get knocked out then you could see this ending quite quickly for Antonio Conte, who has done a brilliant job at the club.’