Premier League - Chelsea job: The candidates

Following the news that Chelsea have sacked Roberto di Matteo, we look at the leading candidates to succeed him at Stamford Bridge.

Premier League - Chelsea job: The candidates

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Pep Guardiola, Rafa Benitez (Reuters)

Rafa Benitez (4/5) - While Benitez has cut something of a comical figure on occasions given the way his Liverpool reign imploded amid rants about "facts" and detailed analyses of net spending, his credentials, particularly in Europe, are impressive, having won La Liga and the UEFA Cup with Valencia and the FA Cup and Champions League with Liverpool.

The Spaniard was Jose Mourinho's replacement at Inter yet struggled to emulate the success of his predecessor and was sacked after six months for issuing an ultimatum to president Massimo Moratti. Benitez may well be able to get the best out of his former protégée Fernando Torres, but he is a rigid tactician and disciplinarian, and perhaps not an ideal fit for a dressing room known to wield too much power behind the scenes.

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Pep Guardiola (7/2) - The most in demand coach in world football is currently enjoying a sabbatical in New York, but Roman Abramovich can be a persuasive man. If, as is widely believed, Abramovich wants to see a young, vibrant Chelsea team capable of dominating European football - a task that Di Matteo was not able to complete - then where better to turn than to Guardiola, who won the Champions League in two of his four seasons as a manager while being the architect of one of the great club sides of all time?

While no one can doubt his aptitude as a coach having won 13 trophies in four seasons to become the most successful boss in Barcelona's history, there are also doubts as to whether he would thrive away from Camp Nou and in a very different football culture.

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Harry Redknapp (5/1) - Chelsea is certainly closer to Sandbanks than Ukraine. Redknapp is currently in talks with the national side and it was rumoured he was using the interest as a smokescreen to draw out interest from QPR. However, a much bigger prize could now be at his fingertips.

Redknapp enjoyed success as Spurs boss as he led Tottenham into the Champions League and also won the FA Cup with Portsmouth. He is a noted man-management expert and could be the boss to put a shoulder around Torres. Redknapp would also enjoy spending Abramovich's billions - just don't call him a wheeler-dealer, even if transfer deadline day would be livened up no end.

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Steve Clarke (10/1) - The Scot represented Chelsea for 11 years as a player and also worked as an assistant to Jose Mourinho, so he has a firm grasp of the club's culture and knows what being employed for Abramovich entails. Crucially, he also understands the dynamic of the Chelsea dressing room better than most.

His first full managerial job has been a great success: West Brom are currently fourth in the table, just a point behind Chelsea. It would be a big step-up but he last time the Blues appointed a former player and assistant he ended up winning the FA Cup and Champions League within three months. Whatever happened to him I wonder?

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David Moyes (16/1) - It is surely time that Moyes gets a big job after spending a fantastic 10 years with Everton. The Toffees have had a fine start to the season so his stock is as high as ever, but would he risk everything he has built at Goodison Park to become Abramovich's latest victim?

Having worked under a restrictive budget for a decade he would enjoy the chance to have some money to spend, but his current boss, Bill Kenwright, is the most even-headed and compliant chairman in football. Moving to Stamford Bridge would be a big culture shock.

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Fabio Capello (25/1) - Though a rather unpopular figure in England after a disappointing World Cup in 2010 and his resignation from the national job in February, Capello's record at club level is almost peerless. He has won league trophies with Milan, Roma, Juventus and during two spells with Real Madrid, as well as winning the Champions League with Milan in 1994.

Capello knows some of Chelsea's senior players very well having managed John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole with England: indeed his loyalty to Terry forced his resignation on a point of principle when the defender was stripped of the captaincy. Capello had previously said the England job would be his last in management but a chance to return to club game at the elite level would surely appeal. All Abramovich may have to do is bend the ear of the Russian national team.

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Jose Mourinho (25/1) - The Special One set the standards by which all Chelsea managers are judged, winning back-to-back league titles and three major cups before his reign at Stamford Bridge ended abruptly in 2007 amid speculation of a dispute with Abramovich over transfer policy.

However, his relationship with the Russian has since improved and having won the treble with Inter in 2010 his reputation has only grown away from Chelsea. Beating Barcelona to the league title last season was some achievement and Mourinho has always said he wants to return to England. Whether he would do so in the middle of a season is questionable though.

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Guus Hiddink (25/1) - The Dutchman earns a ridiculous amount as head coach of Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala yet such is the esteem Abramovich holds him in, he is seen as a possible contender for the Chelsea job. Hiddink stepped into the breach following the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2009 on a caretaker basis and won the FA Cup as well as being denied passage to the Champions League final in controversial circumstances as Barcelona snuck through thanks to a goal from Andres Iniesta.

A long-term confidant of Abramovich, his record at club level with PSV Eindhoven - where he won the Champions League and six league titles across two spells - and at international level with Netherlands, South Korea and Australia make him an attractive candidate, as does his popularity with the Chelsea playing staff.

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Avram Grant (33/1) - The shock replacement for Jose Mourinho, the Israeli knows what it takes to solve a crisis for Abramovich. He finished second in the Premier League in 2009 and lost in the final of the League Cup as well as the Champions League when John Terry slipped in Moscow.

His career since leaving Chelsea has been less than stellar - spells with Portsmouth, West Ham and Paritzan Belgrade proving short lived - but that has never stopped him before.

Who do you think should be the next Chelsea boss? Is there another candidate you believe they should consider? Let us know your thoughts below.

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