Jurgen Klopp emerges as Chelsea’s key managerial target

Borussia Dortmund coach J├╝rgen Klopp emerges as Chelsea's key managerial target

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is pushing to be considered but while the Real Madrid coach has his supporters within the Stamford Bridge hierarchy there are serious concerns about him returning.

Klopp rebuffed ChelseaÔÇÖs tentative interest last season, signing a new contract at Dortmund to 2016, and it remains unlikely that he would want to take the post at the present time with an expectation that he is keen to eventually succeed Joachim L├Âw as coach of the┬áGerman┬ánational team.

However, Chelsea are taking soundings about the 45-year-oldÔÇÖs suitability and also whether he would want to be considered a candidate.

Klopp has established himself as one of EuropeÔÇÖs outstanding young managers with back-to-back┬áBundesliga┬átitles but, more than that, it is the vibrant attacking football that his team play which has attracted ChelseaÔÇÖs interest. They will be intrigued to see how Dortmund fare in the next round of the┬áChampions League, against Shakhtar Donetsk, who progressed from ChelseaÔÇÖs group.

Chelsea are also continuing to monitor whether Moyes, meanwhile, signs a new contract at Everton with his present deal coming to an end this summer.

Moyes had said he would wait until the January transfer window had closed, to see what EvertonÔÇÖs dealings were, before deciding his future and the failure to sign some of his targets might be a consideration.

Although it would be a huge wrench for Moyes to end his 11-year association with Everton, it might be difficult for the 49-year-old Scot to turn Chelsea down should they eventually make him an offer to become the clubÔÇÖs first British manager under Roman Abramovich.

Pellegrini is also under consideration by Chelsea. The 59-year-old Chilean, who has previously coached Villarreal and┬áReal Madrid, has also been linked with Chelsea in the past and guided Malaga into the Champions League where they have performed well despite the clubÔÇÖs financial difficulties.

Chelsea will insist on whoever takes over being able to speak English. The club do not want a repeat of the problems faced when Luiz Felipe Scolari was appointed manager after Euro 2008 and even had it written into Carlo AncelottiÔÇÖs contract that he learnt the language and continued with his lessons once he arrived at Chelsea.

The expectation is that Mourinho will leave Real Madrid at the end of this season and there is a growing sense that he is lobbying to become the next coach of Paris St-Germain should Ancelotti be removed from his post. At the same time MourinhoÔÇÖs associates have let it be known he would be interested in a return to Chelsea where was sacked in 2007 after falling about with Abramovich.

MourinhoÔÇÖs relationship with the Russian billionaire has improved since then and he has remained in contact with some of AbramovichÔÇÖs associates and advisers. Talks have taken place between the various parties but Mourinho would not be given the same level of control, should be return, as he enjoyed last time he was at Chelsea and that could be a problem for him.

Of more immediate concern to Chelsea is the teamÔÇÖs current form with serious questions now being raised as to whether Rafael Ben├¡tez can last in his role as interim manager until the end of the season.

Ben├¡tez is admired by Abramovich ÔÇô who likes the way the Spaniard has gone about his task since he succeeded Roberto Di Matteo when he was sacked in November. Chelsea are also not unhappy with the way in which the team has played under Ben├¡tez but there is an acceptance that results cannot continue to deteriorate.

Chelsea remain in third place in the┬áPremier League┬áand as long as there is no danger of missing out on a Champions League place then Ben├¡tez can expect to remain. However the hatred of him from some sections of the clubÔÇÖs supporters has taken its toll, and shocked the club, and if Chelsea were not to win SaturdayÔÇÖs home game against lowlyWigan Athletic┬áthen the pressure would increase considerably and his position could become untenable.

With the round of international matches Ben├¡tez has taken two days off to return to his family home on Merseyside but is due back at ChelseaÔÇÖs training ground at Cobham on Wednesday to prepare for SaturdayÔÇÖs vital fixture.