Roman Abramovich has turned his attention to Pep Guardiola and Laurent Blanc as he looks to finally solve Chelsea’s managerial conundrum.
The Stamford Bridge club are looking for their eighth manager since the Russian billionaire took over in 2003.
And Abramovich is reportedly prepared to hand Barcelona boss Guardiola a whopping £40 million over four years to quit the European champions.
The Spaniard’s contract expires at the end of the season and he is yet to commit to a a new deal.
That has prompted Chelsea to prepare an offer of £10m a year in cash, according to The Sun.
Guardiola, 41, earns £8m a year at the Catalan club but Abramovich is prepared to eclipse that and make him the highest-paid boss in world football.
Sacked Andre Villas-Boas earned £4.5m a year and received a £9m pay-off, taking Abramovich’s outlay during his time at the club to over £2 billion.
Meanwhile, France coach Blanc has also emerged as a target for the Blues, according to The Times.
The 46-year-old has overseen a transformation in the national side’s fortunes after a disastrous World Cup in South Africa.
Blanc’s contract expires after Euro 2012 and is unlikely to re-sign given his strained relationship with FFF president Noel le Graet. Chelsea would not therefore be required to pay compensation.
Blanc’s CV also boasts an impressive spell with Bordeaux during which he captured the Ligue 1 title and qualified for the Champions League.
Sportsmail revealed this week that Chelsea were also interested in highly-rated Borrussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp.
But the German was quick to distance himself from a move.
‘I can turn them down straight away,’ he said. ‘I will not be moving there. But I do think it is cool that I am being named in the same breath as [Jose] Mourinho and Guardiola.
‘That is enough for me - that is already a personal triumph, but I am not available, sorry.’
Mourinho has also been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge but claimed earlier this month that he was prepared to sign a new deal with Real Madrid.