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Chelsea identify two top-class managers as potential replacements of Maurizio Sarri

Chelsea have identified Zinedine Zidane and Frank Lampard as the leading candidates to replace Maurizio Sarri should the Italian be dismissed, according to Sky Sports.

Senior figures at the club were said to have held discussions on Tuesday following Chelsea’s latest defeat – a 2-0 home loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday night.

During that game, Chelsea supporters chanted ‘f*** Sarri-ball’ in reference to the team’s style of play under the Italian while they also booed his substitutions which have become easy to predict in recent weeks.

With Chelsea having lost three of their last four Premier League games, including a humiliating a 6-0 loss to Manchester City last time out, the Chelsea board are said to be considering Sarri’s position and are looking at options elsewhere.

The two early front-runners have vastly different experience in the dugout with Zidane a three-time Champions League winning manager with Real Madrid and Lampard only in his first season in management at Championship club Derby County.

Zidane led Real Madrid to a La Liga title in 2016-17 and remarkably lifted the Champions League in each of his three seasons in charge prior to stepping down shortly after last season’s 3-1 victory over Liverpool in the final.

The Frenchman has certainly achieved more in management than Lampard has so far, but the Chelsea legend has enjoyed a promising start to life as a coach nonetheless, steering Derby County into play-off contention.

Lampard is one of Chelsea’s most decorated players in history having won 11 major trophies and become the club’s all-time record goalscorer with 211 during his 13-year stay at Stamford Bridge and despite his inexperience, his appointment would be well-received by supporters.

Sarri enjoyed a strong start at Stamford Bridge, leading Chelsea to an 18-game unbeaten run prior to a defeat to Spurs in November, but since then results have been patchy and the team’s performances heavily criticised.

The Italian has weighed in with criticism of his own too, slamming his players for lacking motivation following a 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth last month and describing their second half display against United as ‘confusing’.