Maurizio Sarri rumors: Chelsea boss on hot seat; Zidane and Lampard possible replacement options

Chelsea may be blue, but the seat of manager Maurizio Sarri appears to be red hot. The Italian manager, who is in his first season at Stamford Bridge, could potentially be replaced soon if things don't improve. The Blues started the season in fantastic form but have since struggled mightily, falling out of the FA Cup and receiving two of their worst losses in Premier League history. Chelsea was undefeated from mid-August to mid-November but has since lost eight times, with the feeling that the former Napoli boss could quickly find himself out of a job. 

The Blues host Malmo on Thursday in Europa League action, and you can watch on fuboTV (Try for free).  

So what's the latest on his situation? There were some significant developments reported Tuesday. 

What's the latest on Sarri?

There seems to be quite a bit of unrest. Earlier in the month, he said he couldn't explain his team's recent form, which has featured losses of 4-0 to Bournemouth and 6-0 to Manchester City. And now it seems like he is on a short leash. According to ESPNFC, he is facing a "defining week" with his job potentially at stake. The report says that the next two matches could prove decisive, but logic says it may come down to simply winning a trophy next weekend or not. 

Chelsea faces Manchester City on Sunday in the League Cup final. Another blowout loss could have the Chelsea directors pulling the plug. The Blues face Malmo first and are expected to win, and even in the event of a loss, it's difficult to envision the club making a change a day or two ahead of a final. If Chelsea plays well against City and loses, he could possibly given a little bit more time. But sitting in sixth place in the Premier League and on a poor run of form, another rough week would likely mean the end of his time in London. 

Who could replace him?

Well, fans chanted for the name of Frank Lampard on Monday in the loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup. Lampard is a former club legend who now coaches Derby County. And while he is a potential replacement according to Sky Sports, they also report that former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidne is a potential replacement.

Zidane would be a massive get. In three seasons at Real Madrid, he won three Champions League titles before surprisingly stepping down at the end of last season. He is a huge name who had incredible success early on, and he could be the one to re-energize the club which has a fantastic base of players. He could also be a big of enough name to potentially convince star Eden Hazard to stay at the club, with the player long linked with a move elsewhere. 

What does Sarri need to do to keep his job?

If Sarri wants to remain the coach of Chelsea next week, he likely needs to advance in the Europa League with a positive display and then be competitive in the League Cup final. If Chelsea wins, he likely stays. If the Blues lose by a goal or two but play well, he very well may stay on. But if City destroys the Blues (again), it's safe to assume he'll be looking for a new job.

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Full Bio

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