The pressure on under-fire Chelsea boss Frank Lampard seems to be reaching a boiling point following the lacklustre 2-1 defeat at Leicester City on Tuesday evening. The Blues have won just three of their last eight Premier League matches, and are eleven points adrift of leaders Manchester United having initially established themselves as early title contenders.
Owner Roman Abramovich does not have a reputation for patience with his managers.
Chelsea have made 13 managerial changes since the Russian billionaire took over the club in 2003.
It has been reported that a replacement for Lampard is already being sounded out, with the likes of Massimiliano Allegri and Thomas Tuchel being linked with the potential vacancy in recent weeks.
RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann is another name that has been mentioned in connection with the Blues.
The 33-year-old is among football’s finest young bosses and could offer Chelsea a long-term solution to the club’s managerial merry-go-round.
However, it has emerged that Abramovich would face stiff opposition from Leipzig over an approach, according to Sky Sports.
The report claims the Bundesliga outfit have ‘made it clear’ that a move for Nagelsmann would not be sanctioned from their end.
The club’s CEO, Oliver Mintzlaff, is said to be ‘unlikely’ to entertain the idea of losing his manager.
The prospect of receiving a large compensatory package is not expected to tempt the Red Bull-backed club into parting ways with Nagelsmann.
Lampard claimed earlier this week that he is not worried about the speculation surrounding his position.
The former Blues and England midfielder told Sky Sports after Tuesday’s defeat that he is fully focused on improving his side’s form, with the second half of the season about to get underway.
“It’s not my decision, that’s something that will always be there,” said Lampard. “You always understand some things are beyond your control.
“Things you can control are going again, lifting the players and working hard. That, I can’t answer.
“It intensified for me a while ago. Expectations at this club, right or wrong, are always high.
“I know we’re in a different position if you look at our squad today and the age in our squad, and look at the composition of our squad, it’s a new squad.
“I keep talking about transition, but when you perform like that it’s normal that people ask questions.”
Chelsea are approaching a tricky period of fixtures in the Premier League, with the Blues set to face Tottenham, Southampton and United between now and the end of February in what could be a pivotal run of games with regards to Lampard’s immediate future.
It remains to be seen whether Abramovich will lose patience with the 42-year-old before the end of the season.
Chelsea return to FA Cup action on Sunday afternoon, with Championship side Luton Town the visitors to Stamford Bridge.