Report: Roman Abramovich interested in Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone for Chelsea manager

Roman Abramovich

Jose Mourinho's position may be under threat after a poor start to the season with reports suggesting the club's hierarchy are planning for life after him.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is interested in hiring either Pep Guardiola or Diego Simeone as successor to Jose Mourinho according to a report in The Times, saying they are his top managerial targets if Mourinho were to depart.

The Blues have had a nightmare start to their Premier League season, which sees them just one point above the relegation zone after 16 games, only seven months after lifting the Premier League title.

As a result, Mourinho has come under significant pressure, despite guiding the side through their Champions League group into the knock-out stages, with their league form becoming more and more alarming. 

Guardiola is expected to make a decision on his future beyond this season with much speculation that he could leave Bayern Munich having won each of their last two Bundesliga titles - and remains on course for a third.

Simeone has done a terrific job at Atletico Madrid having led them to the La Liga title in 2013/14 as well as the Champions League final that season, where they narrowly missed out on the European crown to city rivals Real.

One factor that could well make Chelsea appealing to Simeone is that he got the very best out of Diego Costa during Atletico's title-winning campaign. They are currently level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

However, both Simeone and Guardiola may not be attracted to Stamford Bridge at this time as it seems unlikely they will qualify for the Champions League next season, according to the report, and that the Chelsea owner is reluctant to dismiss Mourinho for a second time.

It is clear, however, that his job is under threat as the main point of the piece is that plans are being put in place for life after the current Chelsea boss, and have even stated that "no-one no one at the club is willing to state that he will still be the manager when Chelsea entertain Sunderland on Saturday". 

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch