West Ham boss Avram Grant could make a shock return to Chelsea this summer – to become their new director of football.
The Israeli’s up and down relationship with Hammers chiefs will be reviewed at the end of this season.
But even if he guides the club to Premier League safety it is understood he could quit his four year contract to be reunited with owner, Roman Abramovich.
West Ham, who came close to sacking Grant and replacing him with Martin O’Neill in January, could still decide that a parting of ways is the best option given The Hammers’ stuttering season.
It is understood the 56-year-old would not be considered for the manager’s role however – despite the future of manager Carlo Ancelotti also being in doubt.
The Blues possible move for Grant comes in light of sporting director Frank Arnesen and his deputy Lee Congerton moving to Hamburg this July.
Congerton, the head of scouting, had been groomed as Arnesen’s successor but he and key player acquisition staff Hans Gilhaus and Guy Hilion are also leaving.
Chelsea are now looking to appoint Steve Rowley as their new chief scout – although it is understood he would prefer to remain at Arsenal – while there will be an enhanced role for the highly-rated performance director Mike Forde.
Former boss Guus Hiddink is also on Chelsea’s list for a director of football role.
He has endured a difficult spell as the coach of Turkey but has said he has no plans to return to the club despite helping them win the FA Cup in 2009 while in temporary charge after Luiz Felipe Scolari’s departure.
Abramovich may not make his decision until the summer after wanting a more hands-on approach in light of this year’s so far under-performing campaign.
He recently involved himself directly with the January signings of Fernando Torres and David Luiz and wants more players to come through the club’s academy.