Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has taken a dim view of their current woes under Frank Lampard, according to reports. The Blues recently slipped to defeat against Leicester at the King Power Stadium. And that means they currently sit 11 points adrift of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table.
After spending big on Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell, many expected Chelsea to challenge for the Premier League title.
But that hasn’t happened, with the Blues instead enduring a difficult campaign so far.
Their most recent defeat, against Leicester on Tuesday night, was their sixth of the season.
Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison struck for the Foxes at the King Power Stadium, with Chelsea struggling to muster a response.
In the aftermath of the result, links to the likes of Thomas Tuchel, Massimiliano Allegri, Brendan Rodgers and Julian Nagelsmann have started to intensify.
And the Telegraph say Abramovich deems their current form to be ‘not good enough’.
THINK YOU KNOW SPORT? Test your sporting knowledge with our tricky quiz
For now, he’s ready to stand by Lampard. He’s determined not to wield the axe just yet, mindful of the 42-year-old’s popularity among supporters.
Lampard won the lot during his time as a Chelsea player but Abramovich seldom shows sentiment, having been ruthless towards better managers in the past.
He chopped Jose Mourinho in 2007, despite the Portuguese steering the Blues to two Premier League titles throughout his reign.
And Abramovich also axed Mourinho again eight years later after the club had been allowed to drift into a relegation dogfight.
Carlo Ancelotti won the double in 2010 but that didn’t save his job the following year, with the Italian being sacked after losing out on the Premier League title to Manchester United.
And Chelsea showed Antonio Conte no mercy three years ago, relieving the Italian of his duties despite him guiding them to the crown.
Nagelsmann is the club’s top target to replace Lampard.
But they know prising the German away from RB Leipzig at the current moment in time will be tricky, especially with the Bundesliga side jostling with Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen for the title.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal star Perry Groves has slammed Lampard’s managerial reign at Chelsea – but thinks he won’t be sacked just yet.
“With Chelsea, the biggest worry is I don’t think the players are having Frank Lampard and Jody Morris as a coaching team, and they are not having Frank Lampard as a manager,” he told talkSPORT.
“There is no intensity and no desire.
“If you look at the goals: the first goal was from a short corner, it’s two-vs-one and nobody reacts to go out.
“The second goal is a long pass, then Jamie Vardy gets the wrong side of Antonio Rudiger who fouls him and all of a sudden James Maddison is completely unmarked.
“You look and think: where is Reece James?
“In the build-up, Reece James is three to four yards goal-side of Maddison, and as the ball travels in the air he gets three yards behind him. That just shows me there isn’t that work ethic and intensity to do your job for the team.
“Lampard played a 4-3-3 again; the midfield three of Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount is not strong enough when you are away at Leicester. It is not physical enough.
“Chelsea’s team is screaming for a 4-2-3-1; that is the best formation.
“But Frank Lampard is not seeing it, he makes no changes at half-time and keeps the same formation!
“I’ve said it before: When he got the job it was too early for him. He was learning his trade, and he did well last year in his free season because there was limited expectation and he couldn’t sign any players.
“But this team has gone backwards with £220m spent on it!
“He’s not an elite manager, and he’s at an elite football club.”