Hiddink, Villas-Boas linked with Blues
Turkey coach Guus Hiddink and Porto coach Andre Villas-Boas have been installed as early favourites to succeed ousted Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea parted company with Ancelotti, who won the Premier League title and FA Cup double last season, just hours after Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Everton following a disappointing second season with the Blues.
Hiddink won the FA Cup during a three-month spell as temporary Chelsea boss in 2009 and is still in contact with Blues owner Roman Abramovich in an advisory role. Hiddink is widely reported to be top of the Russian's wanted list and his agent has refused to rule out the Dutchman returning to frontline club management.
Abramovich reportedly wants Hiddink to head up a team that includes former Ajax coach Marco van Basten and Chelsea hero Gianfranco Zola. If Van Basten comes on board Hiddink is expected to assume a role as director of football to help guide the young coach.
There have been suggestions that Hiddink would actually prefer to move upstairs rather than resume a career in club management, but pressed over whether that was definitely the case, his agent, Cees van Nieuwenhuizen, said: "I don't know that you can say that."
Hiddink is currently under contract with Turkey until the end of their Euro 2012 campaign and although it is suggested he might become available after their next qualifier against Belgium on June 3, Van Nieuwenhuizen has warned it is unlikely his client will break his contract early.
"He is focusing on his job and he likes what he is doing. Once that is finished, he will start thinking about his future," Van Nieuwenhuizen said.
Hiddink is already considering offers from Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, both of which are roles upstairs, and while he is yet to clarify his future the Dutchman has revealed he has maintained links with Abramovich.
"It works well with Chelsea. Since I left two years ago I've been advising the club on things concerning the squad," he wrote in De Telegraaf. "Sometimes I become a sounding board. It costs me very little time and I can combine it well with my position with Turkey. There is no conflict at all."
Porto coach Villas-Boas, who claimed the Europa League and Portuguese title in his first season at the Estadio do Dragao, has insisted that he is happy in Portugal, but 'the new Jose Mourinho' has long been linked with Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Ancelotti's dismissal as Chelsea manager also hit the front pages of the Italian press, who have linked the 51-year-old tactician with a return to Roma.
Ancelotti won the Italian title with Roma as a player in 1983 and has made no secret of his desire to manage the club one day. The Giallorossi are looking to replace Vincenzo Montella this summer and club captain Francesco Totti would welcome Ancelotti's arrival at the Eternal City club.
"We hope that Ancelotti is one of our candidates for Roma's bench,'' Totti said.