Chelsea identify immediate replacement for Maurizio Sarri if he loses Carabao Cup final

Chelsea have identified former coach and current England assistant manager Steve Holland as the man they want to replace Maurizio Sarri until the end of the season if he is sacked.

The Italian’s job is under increasing threat despite progressing to the last 16 of the Europa League, with club chiefs concerned by the nature of their FA Cup exit to Manchester United and their 6-0 drubbing at the hands of City.

Sarri now faces a crunch week that will decide his fate, first taking on Pep Guardiola once again in the Carabao Cup final before hosting Spurs in the Premier League.

If Chelsea pull the trigger, The Telegraph report that club bosses will send an ‘SOS’ to former assistant Holland to try and salvage the remainder of their season.

Although Sarri’s current assistant Gianfranco Zola has been mooted as a possible short-term appointment, Chelsea really want Holland if the Football Association will allow him to combine his England duties with managing at Stamford Bridge.

Holland knows Chelsea inside out and has been part of the coaching team under six previous Chelsea managers. Before leaving to join Gareth Southgate and England – where he helped them reach the World Cup semi-finals and this summer’s UEFA Nations League – he was most recently Antonio Conte’s assistant.

Holland also worked under Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafael Benitez, Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink, during which time the club won two Premier League titles and the Champions League.

The 48-year-old has worked with the majority of the current squad and was in attendance at Stamford Bridge for their recent matches against both Manchester United and Malmo.