Chelsea wants to replace struggling manager Mauricio Pochettino immediately with Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso, but they will have fierce competition.
With eight goals given up in back-to-back losses to Wolves and Liverpool, the Blues have dropped to 11th place in the Premier League. While the Guardian claims that Pochettino’s position is not in danger right now, Sport Zone claims that Chelsea’s management wants Leverkusen manager Alonso to take over as soon as possible.
The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star has supposedly caught the eye of Chelsea co-owner Behdad Eghbali having guided the Werkself to the top of the Bundesliga, and remarkably his side remain unbeaten in all competitions at the start of February.
However, this would be far from a straightforward appointment. Alonso is sure to want to complete a potentially historic season with Leverkusen, and he will have no shortage of elite suitors in the summer as Jurgen Klopp prepares to step aside at Anfield and Thomas Tuchel faces an uncertain future at Bayern. He has also been linked with a return to Los Blancos, although Carlo Ancelotti has just signed a new contract there.
Leverkusen defeated Darmstadt 2-0 on Saturday to extend their winning streak in the Bundesliga to 20 games. Despite five second-place finishes, they have never won the league. Their next game is a thrilling matchup against championship rivals Bayern Munich, which takes place after a midweek cup tie.
It remains to be seen if Chelsea will look for other choices or give Pochettino more time now that Alonso is probably out of reach. The Blues will play a tough FA Cup fourth-round rematch at Aston Villa on Wednesday, since they are currently 14 points outside of the top four.