Andre Villas-Boas has admitted for the first time that he could be sacked as Chelsea manager.
Villas-Boas has repeatedly insisted he retains the full backing of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich but has now confessed to the first seeds of doubt about whether he would keep his job. Speculation has been rife over the future of Villas-Boas during what is currently Chelsea's worst season since Abramovich joined the club in 2003.
In an interview with Portuguese radio station TSF which was only broadcast on Monday, the 34-year-old reiterated he felt he retained the "confidence" of Abramovich, but he compared his situation to that of Carlo Ancelotti, who was sacked in May, and he said: "We are now in the exact same moment as last year. It is an exact copy."
He added: "The pattern of behaviour of the owner has led to a (manager's) downfall in similar situations or even 'better' situations.
"What will be the reaction? It will be one of the two, a continuation of the project and full support or just the cultural pattern that has happened before. We don't know."
Villas-Boas declared almost two weeks ago that Abramovich's support was all he needed to sustain him amid reports of dressing room unrest which have continued to surface.
Saturday's 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Bolton saw Frank Lampard admit his relationship with Villas-Boas had "not been ideal", while other senior players are said to have had reservations about Jose Mourinho's former assistant.
Some of them will not be there next season regardless of whether Villas-Boas stays and the Portuguese is already planning for life without them, revealing Porto star Hulk would be an ideal summer signing.
The Brazil forward, who helped Villas-Boas win an incredible quadruple in Portugal last season, fits the profile of the kind of player the Blues boss would like to recruit.
Chelsea will almost certainly have space in their forward line next season, with both Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou currently looking set to leave when their contracts expire, while Florent Malouda has a further year to run on his deal but has previously expressed a willingness to move on in search of more regular football.