Chelsea may sack Antonio Conte once they’re knocked out the Champions League.
That’s according to Paul Merson, who thinks that the Blues will wait until then, but if they cannot get past the La Liga leaders, they will have no choice but to once again sack a manager who only the season before has won them the title.
He also made it clear that Chelsea have issues in the season following their title win – and that they need to work on that.
“They have got big games coming up now,” Merson told Sky Sports’ The Debate.
“They have got West Brom at home and then they have got the FA Cup, then Barcelona and the two Manchester teams.
“Then it is Palace and then Barcelona.
“If they don’t win the two Manchester games and they don’t go through against Barcelona then I would be surprised if he is there at the next league game after the Barcelona second leg.
“It’s weird but that’s how it works at Chelsea – two years, give your best, win the league, we’ll move on and then go again.
“If Man City were on the same points as Man Utd the top five would be separated by five points and it would be the best league you’ve ever seen in your life.
“This would not be a bad title defence if Man City weren’t unbelievably good.
“There’s no way Chelsea could have matched that.”
As Merson claims, Man City have been brilliant this season, but it’s Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho who has really got under Conte’s skin, with the former Chelsea boss winning the war of words with Conte, who hasn’t seemed the same man since.
The Red Devils face Chelsea at the end of the month, and it remains to be seen if Conte will be in charge for that game – or if it will be his final game should the club be humiliated by their former manager.
However, if Conte does manage to steer Chelsea to victory against Barcelona, he may well hold onto his job for the rest of the season – yet the majority of people are under the impression once the season ends, he will lose his job.