Mark Hughes on Chelsea radar after impressive work at Stoke

Gary Cahill unlikely to leave Stamford Bridge this month despite frustration at losing place

Chelsea's initial discussions aimed at securing a permanent successor to José Mourinho have led them to consider the credentials of Mark Hughes as manager, along with those of more established targets such as Diego Simeone, Antonio Conte and Massimiliano Allegri.

The champions will complete this season with Guus Hiddink in interim charge after Mourinho was sacked in December.


Although Simeone has long been mooted as the preferred candidate, prising the Argentinian from Atlético Madrid could prove difficult.

Hughes excelled with Wales and played a significant part in Manchester City's development under Abu Dhabi United before being sacked in December 2009 and replaced by Roberto Mancini.


The former Chelsea player has overseen impressive progress at Stoke City, taking the club to the Capital One Cup semi-finals as well as implementing a transformation in the team's style of play.

Allegri, who led Juventus to a domestic double and the Champions League final last season, is contracted until 2017. Conte is overseeing the Italy national side but is thought to be attracted by the idea of coaching in England.

Edging closer

Meanwhile, Gary Cahill is unlikely to be permitted to leave Chelsea this month despite apparently growing frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities and with the club edging closer to securing the United States defender Matt Miazga (20).

Alexandre Pato had his Chelsea medical yesterday before signing a six-month loan deal from Corinthians, while midfielder Ramires has joined the Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning for an initial £20 million. Guardian Service