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Chelsea manager search: Arsenal confident on Luis Enrique, Italy on Ancelotti

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Maybe all roads lead to Conte IN!

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Another day, another round of transfer rumors regarding potential Chelsea managers. This probably will continue from here on until we either appoint a new boss or the new season begins, whichever comes first. Arsenal’s even more official search for a new manager will only add more noise, more speculation, more twists, and more turns.

Speaking of the Gunners, the early favorite appears to be Luis Enrique, who carried that mantle for PSG (now firmly on the Tuchel trail) and Chelsea as well. Does that make Luis Enrique the most desirable free agent manager out there? He certainly appears to be the most expensive one, with the Telegraph’s Matt Law reporting that Arsenal are “confident of beating Chelsea to Luis Enrique” ... if they want to, that is. Just like the Blues balked at Lucho’s supposed wage demands, Arsenal apparently aren’t too keen on them either.

Arsenal’s other candidates, at least at this point, appear to include internal hire Mikel Arteta, another former player Patrick Vieira, fresh out of diapers Julian Nagelsmann and Domenico Tedesco, and their Bundesliga dad, Ralf Rangnick.

This past weekend, Nagelsmann has popped up in the Chelsea rumor circle as well, though the Blues may be a bit afraid of going down the Andre Villas-Boas boyscout route again. Then again, other recent reports claim that Abramovich is looking for “something different”, which probably means someone who won’t constantly struggle for power with upper management, a la Mourinho or Conte.

One man who’s just as good at managing up as he is managing down is Carlo Ancelotti, but the former Chelsea Double-winner is apparently set for the Italy job. The Azzurri are supposed to announce a new non-interim national team head coach by May 20, which does leave the door open for Conte (the FA Cup final is on the 19th), but Carlo appears to be the new favorite. Plus, surely, if Conte is to leave Chelsea, he wouldn’t want to go back to the boredom of international management just yet.

Chelsea don’t necessarily have to appoint a new coach this summer — Conte, who’s been talking up next season’s (personal and team) improvements lately, doesn’t look likely to resign and Abramovich may yet decide to save the £10m severance payment — but if we do, Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri remains the most likely successor at this point, though even he seems an unlikely proposition right now.