Blanc now touted as front-runner for Chelsea job

Some of the stories involving Chelsea in Friday’s newspapers…

The Sun claim Chelsea will try to persuade Zinedine Zidane to take over as their new manager – and that his former France team-mate Laurent Blanc will be the new front-runner for the job if Zidane is not interested.

The Sun say Chelsea, widely tipped to replace Antonio Conte this summer, will at least make an informal approach to see if Zidane can be tempted to take over at Stamford Bridge.

It comes after Zidane quit as boss of Real Madrid after leading them to a third successive Champions League triumph.

The Sun say former Paris St-Germain boss Blanc is now in the frame because Chelsea have got cold feet over Maurizio Sarri, who had been touted as the favourite to replace Conte.

The Daily Mail also suggest Blanc could be a contender – and also say former Chelsea boss Avram Grant might be brought back if the club’s search for a new manager proves to be problematic.

The Guardian, on the other hand, say Sarri remains Chelsea’s preferred choice but that the club are reluctant to pay the kind of compensation fee Napoli appear to be demanding despite him no longer being their manager.

Meanwhile, there is speculation that Roman Abramovich’s decision to shelve the planned Bridge redevelopment is an indication that the Chelsea owner could sell the club.

The Times say Abramovich would want the estimated £1.17bn he has invested in Chelsea back were he to sell.