MX23RW : Tuesday, August 21 06:35:45

Laurent Blanc 'new favourite' for Chelsea job

Former France boss Laurent Blanc reportedly emerges as the new frontrunner to replace Antonio Conte as Chelsea's next head coach.

Laurent Blanc has reportedly emerged as the new favourite to succeed Antonio Conte as head coach of Chelsea.

For a number of weeks, former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has been regarded as Chelsea's top target but in recent days, it has been suggested that the Blues have started to have second thoughts over paying the Italian's release clause.

According to The Sun, further doubts have emerged over the possible appointment of Sarri due to a 'homophobic row' with Roberto Mancini last season, which resulted in a fine and a touchline ban.

Chelsea have taken a zero-tolerance stance on homophobic language in the past and as it stands, the incident will allegedly count against Sarri if Chelsea decide to part company with Conte in the near future.

That would seemingly leave Blanc high on the shortlist to replace the Italian, while a fee would not have to be paid for the former France and Paris Saint-Germain manager.

Zinedine Zidane is a possible late contender for the top job at the West Londoners after leaving Real Madrid, but the three-time Champions League winner is expected to bide his time before accepting a new position.

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Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri at the game against Lazio on April 9, 2017
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