The west Londoners parted company with Graham Potter last month and appointed Frank Lampard as caretaker manager until the end of the season while they conduct a thorough search for a permanent successor.
Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique are the two frontrunners to take over at Stamford Bridge, with the latter even believed to have held face-to-face talks in London last week.
But now multiple reports in Argentina claim former River Plate boss Gallardo is confident of landing the job, with UOL reporting that he is ‘close’ to being appointed.
They even go as far as to claim that Fernandez has played a role in the process, with the 22-year-old having ‘given the go-ahead’ to Chelsea’s hierarchy.
Fernandez, who became the Premier League’s record signing when he swapped Benfica for Chelsea in the January window in a £107million deal, came through the academy at River Plate while Gallardo was in charge.
He was handed his first-team debut by Gallardo back in 2019 and still sees him as a ‘father figure’, and he is eager to be reunited in west London.
For his part, Gallardo has been without a club since leaving River Plate in November – but he has now informed his coaching staff that he will return to the dugout this summer.
The 47-year-old has enjoyed some time away from management but is now ready to return and is particularly attracted to the possibility of managing in the Premier League.
Gallardo, who won the Copa Libertadores twice, wants to test himself against the best managers in the world and has been learning English since leaving River, while he even contemplated living in the United States for a while to improve his command of the language even further.
The Argentine has been linked with other clubs, such as Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, though has not received any proposals or contact from either club with both likely to appoint a European coach with more experience.
Chelsea are thought to be meeting with a number of their managerial targets over the coming weeks and conducting thorough background checks before decided who to appoint.
They will not rush the decision and wish to explore all options, though ex-Barcelona and Spain boss Luis Enrique is believed to have impressed the club’s hierarchy with his vision for the squad and may now be the main contender for the job.
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