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Slavisa Jokanovic still in the running for next Chelsea manager — report

The wildcard option lives on.

Aston Villa v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Play Off Final Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

As the saga of Maurizio Sarri continues to take one sad turn after another, it’s been widely reported that Chelsea have a number of names under consideration as fallback options.

Luis Enrique, and more recently Laurent Blanc, are two of the higher-profile candidates, but one name that refuses to go away is that of newly-promoted Fulham manager, Slavisa Jokanovic, who was supposedly one of the names originally on the “B-list”.

Di Marzio’s report claims that Chelsea met with Jokanovic yesterday, and are due for another round of talks today — as to who’s actually meeting with him with Granovskaia reportedly on “a break” in Russia until the coming week, that’s anyone’s guess. But Jokanovic is reportedly a “favourite” of Roman Abramovich due to his proficiency in the Russian language and Chelsea past — Slavisa made 39 appearances for the club between 2000 and 2002.

Chelsea’s interest in Jokanovic itself comes as no surprise (if was first reported some time ago) but the fact that he isn’t just an afterthought at this point, may be. He neither has the pedigree nor top-level experience of Blanc or Luis Enrique, but would certainly represent an interesting wildcard option if his recent feats in England — two promotions in three Championship seasons with Watford and Fulham — were to be considered. He’s done so with his teams playing a fast-paced, attacking brand of football and hasn’t shied away from handing minutes to youngsters, most notably a 17-year-old Ryan Sessegnon.

Jokanovic certainly would tick a few boxes for the higher-ups at Chelsea, and may also be more willing to work with whatever he’s given in the transfer window. He’d represent a cheaper option than any of the more commonly rumored options and Fulham may be less petty about letting him as well. His lack of experience at the top level is the big drawback, but Chelsea had been considering thinking a bit more outside the box this time around supposedly.

Either way, we will likely learn the outcome of this situation soon, as talks of a contract extension for Jokanovic at Fulham are said to be around the corner.

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