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Brendan Rodgers now in frame as Chelsea stopgap for Jose Mourinho

By Jim Gracey

Brendan Rodgers has catapulted from candidate for the Aston Villa manager's job to possible stand-in for his former mentor Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

Carnlough man Rodgers is in the frame as the Premier League champions look for a stopgap manager to take charge, with owner Roman Abramovich running out of patience with Mourinho's failure to halt the worst run by a defending title winning team.

Rodgers' stock remains high at Chelsea where he served as youth and reserve team manager in Mourinho's first reign at Stamford Bridge.

That has led to his odds of becoming the next Chelsea boss slashed from 20/1 to just 7/1. Since his sacking by Liverpool earlier this month, Rodgers has also been linked with Aston Villa, but an interim role at Chelsea could be a more likely option, favourable to both parties.

Chelsea are in the Premiership bottom six and Tuesday's Capital One Cup exit at Stoke added to the pressure on Mourinho.

The Portuguese manager will be fighting to save his job if his team are beaten in their next Premier League game, at home against Liverpool on Sunday.

The biggest question for Abramovich would be who could take over immediately from Mourinho, with realistic caretaker options limited, as he pursues new No1 target Diego Simeone, under contract at Atletico Madrid until the summer, shifting the focus onto Rodgers.

Chelsea have a rich history of appointing interim managers who have gone on to produce success, most notably Roberto di Matteo, winner of the Champions League and FA Cup in 2012, Guus Hiddinck (2009 FA Cup) and Rafa Benitez (Europa League 2013).

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