ESPNsoccernet understands Roman Abramovich is lining up Turkey coach Guus Hiddink to replace Carlo Ancelotti in the Chelsea hotseat, should the Italian fail to deliver the Champions League this season.
• Ancelotti: We won't go out of UCL
• Preview: FC Copenhagen v Chelsea
• Forum: UCL spots mark success?
• Moyes nearly did a Jose
• Ancelotti feels the heat
• Arnesen agrees Hamburg deal
Ancelotti has endured a torrid few months at Stamford Bridge, overseeing the Blues' elimination from the Carling Cup, FA Cup and Premier League title race.
Pressure is mounting on the former AC Milan boss, despite the fact he delivered the club their first ever Double last season, and it is thought that winning the European Cup at Wembley in May is the only thing that will save him from the sack.
Should Ancelotti not guide the Blues to Champions League glory, Abramovich is ready to wield the axe and re-appoint Dutchman Hiddink, who won the FA Cup with Chelsea during a successful three-month spell with the club as caretaker manager in 2009.
An ESPNsoccernet source confirmed: "If Abramovich does decide to dispense with Ancelotti then the manager he will try for first will be Hiddink."
The Champions League has continued to prove elusive for Abramovich and it appears Ancelotti is faced with a simple ultimatum: deliver the Russian billionaire his holy grail or find a new job.
But if Chelsea continue to flounder in the league despite their owner investing a cool £75 million in Fernando Torres and David Luiz, the big question is whether he can gamble on winning the Champions League to qualify again for it next season.
He may be tempted to act now to stop the rot, as chances are running out for the under-fire Ancelotti, and it would be cost-effective to buy Hiddink out of the remainder of his contract with Turkey, which runs out next summer.