Blanc and Guardiola frontrunners for Chelsea job

Roman Abramovich will decide between Laurent Blanc and Pep Guardiola as he closes in on a new Chelsea boss according to a SqueakyBumTime source.

The Russian oligarch has remained tight lipped over his targets to replace replace Andre Villas-Boas in the Stamford Bridge dugout after his dismissal in March.

Roberto Di Matteo has been in temporary charge for the past 11 weeks picking up the pieces from Vilas-Boas’ disastrous reign guiding the Blues to FA Cup and Champions League success.

But it won’t be enough for the 41-year-old Italian to win the job on a permanent basis with Abramovich after a big name and it’s emerged that Guardiola is his top choice.

The Spaniard will hand over the Barcelona reins to Tito Villanova before embarking on a year-long sabbatical from football after Friday’s Copa Del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao.

However he’s given the Chelsea owner fresh hope that he is prepared to take over in West London after admitting that he could be tempted into making a managerial return.

Speaking to the Daily Mail Guardiola said: “For the next month I have to charge my batteries. I will rest and I will wait. I will be ready, if one club wants me, if they seduce me, I will train again.”

Should Abramovich fail to coax the Spaniard to Kings Road he will turn his attentions to French coach Blanc who admitted last month he’d be receptive to an offer from the European Champions.

The 46-year-old has revived the fortunes of Les Bleus after taking over from Raymond Domenech following a disastrous World Cup campaign in South Africa.

An impressive three-year spell at Ligue 1 side Bordeaux proved his managerial credentials at club level and he could leave his position with the national side should Chelsea come calling.

Blanc told Le Parisien in April: “It’s always gratifying when big clubs are interested in you. “I can sign elsewhere, before or during the Euros.

“I often hear it said that it’s the boss who decides whether or not to extend the contract of a player or a coach at the end of their contract but people forget the employee can also decide for themselves.

“My intention is to carry on with the France team, but the fact remains, I have not extended my contract. If I get an exceptional offer, I could very well decide to leave for that club.”