Chelsea next manager EXCLUSIVE: Blues six-man shortlist to replace Maurizio Sarri revealed (Image: GETTY)

Chelsea is searching for a manager who will deliver them champions league football even if the club is hit with a transfer ban this summer.

The Stamford Bridge club expect Maurizio Sarri to be named as Juventus’ new manager in the next 48 hours – but the search for his successor is well underway.

Former Stamford Bridge hero Frank Lampard, ex Juventus coach Max Allegri, England no2 Steve Holland, Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and Watford coach Javi Gracia are all contenders for the job.

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Chelsea has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against their two-window Fifa ban for irregularities in the signing of young players – but have not yet asked for the ban to be frozen while they appeal – which means that as of now they will not be able to sign players this summer.

Sarri delivered Champions League football with a third-placed Premier League finish in the campaign just ended, as well as winning the Europa League.

But with Champions League football worth potentially around £70million to a club each season, Chelsea cannot afford for the next campaign to be a flop and to drop out of the Champions League again with Financial Fair Play regulations so tight.

The club missed out in 2016-17, and again last season, and only reached the round of 16 in 2017-18 so have missed out on the big prize money for some time now. So a top four place is vital next season.

That pressure means that the new manager, whoever he is, will not get a honeymoon period – even though he might be forced to play youngsters.

That could count against Lampard, who has had only one year’s managerial experience, at Derby.

Chelsea next manager EXCLUSIVE: Blues six-man shortlist to replace Maurizio Sarri revealed (Image: GETTY)

Meanwhile, Sarri has already begun to put together the backroom team to help him at Juventus, where he has agreed on a three-year deal.

Joining him will be fitness coach Paolo Bertelli, and his assistant coaches are expected to be either Giovanni Martusciello, currently technical collaborator at Inter Milan who worked with Sarri at Empoli, or his current Chelsea assistant coach Luca Gotti.

Pundit Steve Nicol believes Chelsea should go with Wolves boss Santo as the replacement for Sarri.

When asked he said: “Nuno Espirito Santo.

Chelsea next manager EXCLUSIVE: Blues six-man shortlist to replace Maurizio Sarri revealed (Image: GETTY)
Chelsea next manager EXCLUSIVE: Blues six-man shortlist to replace Maurizio Sarri revealed (Image: GETTY)

“I tell you what, the way they play the game, it feels like Chelsea for forever and a day have been talking about how they want to play this expansive game.

“Goes through [Jose] Mourinho and [Antonio] Conte, and then we thought we were gonna get that with Sarri and didn’t.

“Look how Wolves play. Look how this guy manages.”

He added: “Juventus never played an open, expansive game [under Allegri] did they?

“If Chelsea wants that, they’ve got a guy that’s proven in the Premier League. There’s your man.”

Chelsea has already lost talisman Eden Hazard this summer who has finally joined Real Madrid.