The Chelsea hierarchy are considering Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone as a replacement for Jose Mourinho, according to reports.
Mourinho is under huge pressure and is the favourite to be the next Premier League manager sacked after a nightmare start to the season which has seen the defending champions pick up eight points from eight matches.
Chelsea moved to say that Mourinho was safe for now in a statement last week, but admitted that results must improve if he is to remain at Stamford Bridge.
According to the Daily Mirror, Mourinho is aware that Chelsea are putting a contingency plan in action if he fails to turn it around.
Simeone is reportedly the top target, but having signed a new contract in March, will cost Chelsea a £15million buy-out to take him away from the Vicente Calderon at the end of the season.
The former Argentina international has been brilliant in just under four years at Atletico, winning the Europa League, Copa del Rey and, of course, beating Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid to win Atletico's first La Liga title in 18 years as well as taking them to the Champions League final in 2014.
Chelsea players have lined up in the past couple of weeks to defend Mourinho, with Cesc Fabregas, Ramires and Eden Hazard among the players who have admitted that they are as much to blame as the manager, because of poor individual performances.
The Blues return to Premier League action with a game against struggling Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on SaturdayReuse content