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Chelsea tracking Conte, Mancini as potential Mourinho replacements

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Mourinho is in trouble and Chelsea are scoping out replacements. One of the options is Roberto Mancini.

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

Chelsea really are in trouble.

The dawn of the Premier League season has come and gone and, if we're going with a daytime analogy (and I suppose we are), it's basically late morning for European sides. It's that time of the morning in real life when you start to feel guilty about still being in your pajamas and not having brushed your teeth. It's the time of the morning when you should have accomplished at least something by now. Your neighbor has already run five miles and mowed his lawn and you're - well, you're wondering if you should be eating cereal or leftover pizza for "brunch."

This is exactly the kind of situation that Chelsea are in, and it has gotten manager Jose Mourinho into some very hot water with the club ownership and its fans. To return to our morning analogy above - it'd have been just fine if after 3 or 4 matches Chelsea were in the bottom half of the table. There are always early-season kinks to be worked out, and less-talented teams are more likely to get lucky and beat one of the league's sharks early on.

But after week 11, Chelsea sit in 15th place with only 11 points. Didn't they just win the league last season (yes, they did). I tell you all this only to add support to the wild rumor that has been floating about. It would have taken a string of truly awful results for Chelsea to begin seeking out other managers before Mourinho's contract was up, but that's exactly what's happening.

And the two names that were linked with Chelsea over the weekend (h/t Gazzetta) were Italy national team coach Antonio Conte and Inter manager Roberto Mancini, apparently in that order of preference.

Conte's contract with the Italian soccer federation is up in 2016, and a move to Stamford Bridge wouldn't seem totally outside the realm of possibility - especially if Chelsea continue to be this bad (and if they don't get relegated!). Whereas a potential Mancini move back to London makes a little less sense and seems significantly less likely at the moment, I suppose stranger things have happened in European football.