Frank Lampard is set to be sacked from his role as Chelsea manager, having guided the club for just over 18 months, following five defeats in the last eight games.
It comes just 24 hours after his 3-1 win over Luton Town in the FA Cup, but the club’s Premier League form has led to growing concerns.
The 42-year-old achieved a top-four finish last season which was deemed impressive having seen the club suffer a transfer ban in the summer that he joined.
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However, this season Chelsea spent £220 million ($275m) on new signings to try and close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City in recent seasons to win silverware.
It hasn’t worked, with Timo Werner and Kai Havertz suffering prolonged periods of poor form under their new manager while Chelsea’s performances as a team were increasingly getting worse.
Club chairman Bruce Buck watched on with technical and performance advisor Petr Cech as Leicester City ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against Lampard’s side in their most recent league fixture.
The loss to Brendan Rodgers’ men was just the latest of a series of defeats against the Premier League’s best teams, which recently included reverses against Manchester City and Arsenal.
Chelsea have only beaten West Ham of the top 11 clubs this season, while picking up the second-lowest number of points at this stage of a season since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.
Lampard earned 1.67 points per match in the league, which is the lowest of any manager appointed since Abramovich bought Chelsea.
The former England midfielder had been open to continuing but the decision was taken out of his hands by those higher up.
Rodgers is among the names being touted to replace Lampard at Chelsea but he has a long-term contract at the King Power Stadium and has strained his relationship with his former club in the past. Therefore, he is unlikely to come to west London.
Alongside the former Blues academy coach, former PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsman are being considered. Tuchel, in particular, appears to be angling himself for the role.
The former Bundesliga-based managers could be the right men to get the most out of both Werner and Havertz, as well as Christian Pulisic who was brought through Dortmund’s academy.
Massimiliano Allegri is also a major contender but a short-term appointment could be made until the summer.
Ukraine manager and former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko is London-based and keen to move into a major club role soon, having impressively guided his country to the European Championships.
Meanwhile, Lampard’s legendary status remains intact and many Chelsea fans would have been happy to see him continue.
A display had been planned for the Shed End part of the stadium, urging Chelsea to stick with their all-time record scorer, with 211 goals, and manager.
Lampard previously managed Derby County after retiring from a glorious playing career that saw him win the Champions League and three Premier League titles.