Amidst conflicting reports in the media regarding a Chelsea board meeting to discuss José Mourinho's future, we're also apparently lining up candidates to take over from The Special One, should it come to that. The latest report from The Times - reproduced by Eurosport, among others - claims that former Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Tottenham and Real Madrid manager Juande Ramos is under consideration as a potential interim replacement.
According to The Times, the board are still discussing whether or not to sack Mourinho before Chelsea's next game on Saturday against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. (Ed.note: alternative theories for such lengthy meetings include karaoke, poker tournament, heavy drinking, or watching a Star Wars or Lord of the Rings movie marathon.) Fearing that the damage done between Mourinho and his players can't be fixed anymore, the club sees Juande Ramos as a potential interim candidate to lead the club to a recovery in the Premier League. Other candidates include Guus Hiddink ... and ... well ... yeah. That's it. Other candidates like Simeone or Guardiola or whoever else are mostly rumored as full-time replacements coming in next summer only.
Juande Ramos already managed a club in England when he took over Tottenham in the 2007-08 season and won a League Cup trophy over Chelsea that year. But he left White Hart Lane just two months into the start of the 2008-09 campaign after Spurs failed to record a single win in 8 Premier League games. Harry Redknapp took over.
In his latest spell at Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Ramos stayed at the club from 2010 to 2014 and led the team to a 2nd place finish in the Ukrainian Premier League in his last season. He opted against renewing his contract then, due to his family's reluctance to stay in the country. He's been out of a job since then.
Ramos might be an odd name in the mix but given how top managers such as Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte would most likely not want to take over Chelsea just for the short term and in the middle of the season, it's not unreasonable to think that the club would look towards less fancied names -- though perhaps controversial ones this time than with Benitez (sorry, Brendan Rodgers).
But hiring someone as a stopgap would then raise the question of just what we would hope to gain by sacking the manager in the first place. And fans aren't the only ones raising this question, with many in the squad apparently worried by the "quality" of any Mourinho replacement at this point. This latter report, from Matt Law of the Telegraph, could certainly indicate that the dressing room remains united behind the manager and any sacking would just be even more detrimental to the season (if that's even possible).