Mauricio Pochettino would have provided a serious threat to Frank Lampard’s job security at Chelsea had he not recently joined Paris St-Germain, according to reports.
Lampard is under immense pressure in west London following the Blues’ 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester City on Sunday, which has left them languishing in eighth place.
Goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Kevin de Bruyne moved City three goals ahead after just 34 minutes at Stamford Bridge, virtually ending the game before the half-time whistle and piling the pressure on Lampard.
Chelsea have now slumped to four defeats in their last six games, taking just four points in that period and falling seven points behind joint-leaders Liverpool and Manchester United.
According to The Athletic, Blues officials are already exploring alternative plans with a view to replacing Lampard if their torrid run of form continues.
Massimiliano Allegri and Thomas Tuchel are the highest-profile managers currently out of work, while Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo could be an intriguing choice.
However, for now Lampard can count himself fortunate that Pochettino recently took the PSG reins.
It is believed the former Argentine has long been admired at Stamford Bridge and would have been one of the leading contenders for the Chelsea job if it became available.
But following the sacking of Tuchel in Paris, Pochettino returned to his former club to pen a two-and-a-half year deal as their new head coach on Sunday.
Despite his affiliation with London rivals Tottenham, whom he guided to a first ever Champions League final in 2019, the 48-year-old’s free-agent status would have made him an attractive option for Chelsea chiefs amid doubts over Lampard’s future.
The latter still has two-and-a-half years to run on his current contract, although the extension which was being mooted last month is quite clearly off the cards for now.
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He will be hoping to resurrect their nightmare form away at Fulham on January 15, before a potentially season-defining trip to high-flying Leicester comes four days later.
Wolves, who picked up a 2-1 win over Chelsea last month, then visit Stamford Bridge on January 27.
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