Chelsea made history last week for all the wrong reasons, despite a powerful 6-1 win over Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in a midweek Champions League group stage match. The Blues, the defending champions, were eliminated from Europe's premier club football tournament, becoming the first holders to surrender their crown so early in the season. The win at Stamford Bridge should have been accompanied by a positive result for Ukrainian Premier League side Shakhtar Donetsk, who, having already qualified, were hosting Italian champions Juventus at the Donbass Arena. Unfortunately for Roman Abramovich's side, the eastern Europeans were beaten by an Olexandr Kucher own goal, just before the hour mark.
Abramovich's sacking of the Champions League-winning Roberto Di Matteo led to suggestions that former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola would be targeted with renewed vigour. The Catalan was the subject of considerable speculation in the summer, when he left the Spanish giants for a year's sabbatical but despite all the stories remains non-committal over his future.
And in his desperation to sign the former Nou Camp midfielder, the Russian billionaire, ESPN reports, is to offer a £20m contract, amounting to a sensational £100m.
Unfortunately for the Stamford Bridge team, Guardiola remains less than impressed with the amount of interference from Abramovich with regard to the footballing aspects of the club. The fact that Abramovich has fired eight managers in the nine years since he purchased the club doesn't help. So much so that the Guardian reports Chelsea's No 1 manager target may have moved further away after the sacking of Di Matteo.
In light of that possibility, the Daily Mail reports the club's technical director, Michael Emenalo, has drawn up a list of alternatives. And on that list is Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp.
The 45-year-old Stuttgart-born coach has led Dortmund to consecutive Bundesliga championships and has crafted team that has been hailed as one of the most exciting in European football. Testament to Klopp's ability is the way the Germans topped a Champions League group containing Spanish giants Real Madrid, as does the fact he led his team to a stunning 2-1 win over Jose Mourinho's side at the Signal Iduna Park and was only just held to a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu in the reverse fixture.
Klopp also has a reputation for being a financially prudent manager, much like Arsene Wenger. And should he succeed at Stamford Bridge, it will be interesting to see how he deals with Abramovich's millions. In any case, Klopp has confessed to being surprised at links with Premier League clubs, insisting that he has no intention of leaving his present post.
"I believe it was strange to see my name being linked with Chelsea and Liverpool, the German was quoted as saying, adding, "Jurgen Klopp, born in the Black Forest, future coach of a great English club. It sounds nice. The English press even suggested that I could make it, but if you look closely you will see that I would not.
"I am under contract at Dortmund and there is no chance that I will leave. I am an admirer of English football, but I am already working at a great European club and I feel fine. It is nice, though, to be linked with other clubs rather than remain an unknown."