Chelsea line up Klopp or Mourinho in case of Guardiola rejection

Chelsea have begun putting together a list of potential appointments to succeed interim manager Rafael Benitez in the event that first choice Pep Guardiola turns down the job at Stamford Bridge, the Daily Mail has reported.

The newspaper adds that among the names on the shortlist, compiled by director of football Michael Emenalo, will be former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, currently at Real Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund’s twice Bundesliga-winning manager Jurgen Klopp.

Klopp is said to have caught the eye of owner Roman Abramovich thanks to his work in the Bundesliga, where he has taken Dortmund to two consecutive league titles. Klopp has also this season overseen Dortmund’s safe passage from the group stage of the Champions League, something that has been beyond Chelsea, and Klopp did it in direct competition with not only Mourinho’s Madrid, but Premier League champions Manchester City.

Guardiola, who left Barcelona at the end of last season, remains Chelsea’s first choice to take over as permanent manager when Benitez’s short-term contract expires next summer, but the Catalan has a number of other offers, including one from Serie A side Milan, who have already met with Guardiola’s representatives. Manchester City are also understood to have Guardiola in mind should Roberto Mancini move on.

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