Juande Ramos has been named as a potential successor to Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, if Roman Abramovich decides to sack the Portuguese.
Mourinho led the Blues to their first league title in 50 years during his first spell in charge of the club, and defended this the following season. He also won two League Cups and an FA Cup before dismissed by Abramovich in September 2007, but he returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2013 and, last term, guided them to another Premier League and League Cup double.
However, his side have suffered a remarkable dip this season. The 2-1 defeat at Leicester City leaves the reigning champions 20 points off the leaders after just 16 matches, and it already looks virtually impossible that they will finish in the top-four. More worrying is the fact they are just one point above the relegation zone, where they will be should they lose to Sunderland on Saturday.
All this has piled huge pressure on Mourinho, who had a much-publicised bust-up with respected club physio Eva Carneiro earlier this season. More of an issue is the constant speculation that he has also ‘lost the dressing room’, something which is unlikely to have eased following the Portuguese’s claim that he was ‘betrayed’ by his players following the defeat at the King Power Stadium.
Although no emergency meeting has taken place at the club, it has been widely reported that the future of Mourinho has been discussed by Abramovich and his board. The outcome of which is thought to have given the 52-year-old more time to turn things around. But this hasn’t stopped reports that he may still be dismissed, with a caretaker set to fill his shoes for the remainder of the campaign.
The latest – and perhaps most surprising – of these is Ramos. The 61-year-old former Real Madrid coach had huge success at Sevilla where he won a Copa del Rey, two Uefa Cups and a Uefa Super Cup, but he is best known on these shores for his spell at Tottenham which began in October 2007. The Spaniard won the League Cup in his first season – the last trophy the White Hart Lane club have collected – but was sacked the following term just one day short of his first annniversary.
The Times claim Ramos has emerged as a genuine option for Abramovich, due in no small part to a lack of other candidates during the mid-season. Carlo Ancelotti, for instance, has told The Independent that he would not be interested in taking another job mid-campaign, whilst Italian national coach Antonio Conte is fully engaged in preparation for Euro 2016 next summer.
Since his spell at the Bernabeu during the 2008/09 season, in which he led Los Blancos to 17 wins from 18 matches before eventually losing the title to Barcelona by a nine-point margin, Ramos has been sacked by CSKA Moscow after just 49 days. He did, though, have more success at Dnipro, leading them to a runners-up spot in the Ukraine Premier League in 2013/14.