Roman Abramovich is notorious for his ruthless hire-and-fire policy at Chelsea, meaning he has seen off plenty of managers over the years.
Since taking the Stamford Bridge reins in 2003, Abramovich has employed 12 different gaffers, sacking seven of them and even handing Jose Mourinho his P45 on two occasions.
The Russian gets through coaches at a relentless rate, but a return of five Premier League titles, as many FA Cups, three League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League justifies doing so.
However, Abramovich doesn’t always manage to attract his No.1 managerial target to Chelsea, and Daily Star Sport have picked out six of the best he has missed out on.
Sir Alex Ferguson
A few months before he took over at Chelsea, Abramovich was at Old Trafford to watch Manchester United’s thrilling 4-3 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League.
He is said to have been so impressed with the game that he set his sights on appointing Ferguson as his first Blues manager, only for the Scot to reject his advances.
“They used an agent to approach me when Abramovich first took over the club,” Ferguson said in a 2013 interview with US TV network PBS.
“And I said, ‘no chance’. I always come back to this point — why would you leave?”
The one that really did get away for Roman, Guardiola has been at the top top of his managerial wish-list for a number of years, and The Athletic claim he has been rejected by the Spaniard on six occasions.
After winning every major trophy there is to win at club level, Abramovich’s next desire was to build the kind of free-flowing, expansive football team Pep made famous at Barcelona.
He apparently made his first approach back in 2010 and revived his interest after sacking Carlo Ancelotti a year later.
Abramovich then tried again three times in 2012, before a sixth and final unsuccessful approach came in 2016.
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After guiding Borussia Dortmund to the Champions League final in 2013, Klopp was hot property in European football and Chelsea were without a permanent manager following Rafa Benitez’s turbulent stint as interim boss.
Mourinho eventually returned to Stamford Bridge for a second spell in charge that summer, but only after Abramovich reportedly sounded out the Dortmund gaffer’s representatives.
Klopp later revealed: “There were some English clubs that called and wanted to speak with me. But there was no reason to talk to them because… No chance.
“It's only hard to understand if you always think 'I can go to a bigger club'. I'm sure you could earn much more money at one or the other English clubs, or at a Chinese or Russian club. But it's not the most important thing.”
The Atletico Madrid boss has been linked with Chelsea on several occasions in the past, with rumours first emerging after Mourinho’s dismissal in 2015.
A move eventually failed to materialise, but just three years later The Times claimed Simeone was Abramovich’s No.1 target to replace another sacked manager, Antonio Conte, in west London.
As has proved the case so often during his 10-year stint at Atletico, nevertheless, he did not want to leave the Spanish club and therefore rebuffed the approach.
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Despite delivering the club’s first Champions League crown, interim success Roberto Di Matteo was not initially expected to land the full-time Chelsea job in the summer of 2012.
Instead, it was understood at the time that Abramovich had his sights set on either Guardiola or Low, who was preparing for Euro 2012 with Germany at the time.
The Chelsea owner made his offer, only for Low’s representatives to turn it down and reveal: “Joachim wants to stay until the next World Cup at least. It does not matter how much money he is offered.”
Given he guided Germany to a historic triumph at that World Cup, it’s fair to say he made the right call…
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Sven Goran Eriksson
Abramovich will hardly be kicking himself over this one, yet the Swede claims to have been one of the very first managers he tried to hire upon arrival at Chelsea in 2003.
But Eriksson, who was in charge of England at the time, later revealed: “I had the offer. I had the contract in front of me. And I think I signed it as well. No, maybe not. I don’t remember.
“The day after it was out in all the newspapers in England. And I was at that time the manager of England. So I had to say ‘no, I can’t do it because the people would have killed me’.
“When you’re the manager of England you never say ‘I will quit’ because then you’re a traitor. You have to sit down there and wait until they sack you.”
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