Ray Wilkins believes it is "out of the question" that Chelsea would sack under-fire new manager Rafael Benitez before the end of the season.
Benitez has overseen two draws and Saturday's 3-1 defeat to West Ham since he was recruited on an interim basis to replace Roberto Di Matteo. The Spaniard admitted he was "not 100%" certain of his future but Wilkins, the former Chelsea assistant boss, cannot see Roman Abramovich making another managerial change.
"I would think that is totally out of the question," Wilkins told Sportsweek on Radio Five Live.
"They have asked him to come in and do a job and no doubt he is trying to work very hard to do it. Unfortunately the results are going against him at the moment. It has been a very difficult period for Chelsea Football Club and at the moment they are struggling."
Benitez is in charge until the end of the season but Wilkins suggested Chelsea are running out of options for the permanent managerial post.
"If Pep Guardiola was to come in and was sacked then where do you go?" Wilkins said.
"He is supposedly the best on the planet. He is a young man of 41. You have Mourinho out there but would Jose come back? I have no idea.
"Gus Poyet would be a good choice. He is cutting his teeth at Brighton, he has been at Leeds and Swindon so he knows the trade and he is a Chelsea legend, as Roberto Di Matteo was. The options are now being closed down rather rapidly."
Wilkins put Chelsea's recent woes down to the absence of John Terry at the back and Frank Lampard's goal-scoring contribution from midfield.
"When you lose those goals from the middle of the field, you have a massive problem," Wilkins said. "Whether it is the club who spends money or Rafa who spends money, it has to be done because the season is coming to a rather rapid halt and we are not even at Christmas yet."
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- Ray Wilkins
- Rafael Benitez
- Roberto Di Matteo
- Chelsea Football Club