Ralph Hasenhuttl ‘on five-man Chelsea shortlist to replace Frank Lampard’

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl features on Chelsea’s provisional shortlist of candidates to replace under-fire head coach Frank Lampard, according to reports.

Lampard’s position at Stamford Bridge is hanging by a thread amid a nightmare run of form which has seen the Blues slump to four defeats in their last six outings.

It is believed club officials have already started drawing up contingency plans should they be forced to make a change, with a make-or-break trip to Fulham in store next Friday.

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea have put together a ‘Bundesliga-heavy’ shortlist of potential replacements for Lampard – which also includes Hasenhuttl.

The 53-year-old has worked wonders at Southampton this season, winning eight of their first 17 games of the season and currently sitting three points above Lampard’s side up in sixth.

His most recent success at St Mary’s came last Monday, when an early Danny Ings strike was enough to seal a 1-0 victory over Premier League champions Liverpool.

Chelsea are understood to be admirers of Hasenhuttl, however there is an acceptance that he would not leave Southampton in the middle of the season.

The Austrian is therefore not seen as an immediate option in the event of Lampard’s dismissal, yet if he continues to impress on the south coast he would be considered for the job in the summer.

Other candidates on the Blues’ shortlist include RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, who is an attractive long-term option given he is only 33 years of age.

Nevertheless, he would also not be available until the end of the season given he is currently competing with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race.

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Fellow Germans Thomas Tuchel and Ralf Rangnick are out of work right now and may be obtainable if an emergency replacement is required, as is former Juventus gaffer Massimiliano Allegri.

Chelsea plan to give Lampard an opportunity to turn their season back around, but another defeat at Fulham in their next league outing could force them to make a change.

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