Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is reported to be top of Chelsea's wanted list after AC Milan's Carlo Ancelotti ruled himself out.
Although the Premier League club have been linked with the likes of Roberto Mancini and Marcello Lippi, it is another Italian who is now reportedly winning the race to succeed Avram Grant.
Milan's vice-President Adriano Galliani stated last Saturday that Ancelotti and "another Italian coach were top of Chelsea's wish list" although he refused to divulge the name of the second man.
Spalletti was named Serie A Coach of the Year in 2006 while last season he helped Roma become the first ever side to defeat Real Madrid in both legs of a UEFA Champions League clash.
Although the 49-year-old is not the obvious candidate to replace Grant, he revitalised Udinese during his three-year spell with the club while also guiding Roma to second in Serie A and lifting the Coppa Italia last season.
Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and Russia's Guus Hiddink are also reported to be on the shortlist, while Blackburn Rovers' Mark Hughes has dropped out of the race after Manchester City announced his appointment.
Source: Sporting Life