Claudio Ranieri is fearing for his future after it was revealed that Fulham’s beleaguered boss has today been called in for crunch talks following last night’s desperately disappointing 2-0 defeat to relegation rivals Southampton.
Ranieri has only been in the Fulham job for a touch over three months but poor performances, rotten results, and an increasingly disgruntled fanbase means he’s now in severe danger of becoming the sixth top-flight boss to lose his job this season - the first of which was, of course, Slavisa Jokanovic.
19th-placed Fulham are now a surely insurmountable 10 points adrift of safety with just 10 games to go, meaning they could well pull the managerial trigger ahead of the weekend’s clash against West London neighbours Chelsea.
Here are four potential replacements for Ranieri, should he be sacked.
Fulham could opt to stay in-house and give Scott Parker his first venture in senior management.
The 38-year-old, who made 128 appearances for Fulham, is currently working as a first-team coach under Ranieri, a position he was handed by former boss Jokanovic last summer.
Parker previously coached Tottenham’s U18 side, and prior to that completed his UEFA badges and oversaw Fulham’s academy.
The Sun now reports that Parker could be the man to step in until the end of the season on a caretaker basis.
Given that Fulham’s hopes of a Great Escape are pretty slim, they could look to the future and decide to appoint a manager with experience of leading a club into the Premier League.
Step forward David Wagner.
The German-American incredibly led Huddersfield to promotion, via the play-offs, in 2017, then went one step better by preserving the club’s Premier League status last season. The Yorkshire outfit struggled to get going this time out, and Wagner reluctantly decided to call it quits last month.
A summer appointment may be more likely, but after six weeks away from management, the out-of-work gaffer could perhaps be persuaded to make a swift return.
It may not have worked out for Slavisa Jokanovic at Fulham this season. Back in November the Serbian became the first Premier League gaffer to be sent packing...was it premature? His replacement Ranieri has had a stinker, and Jokanovic would no doubt have backed himself to lead Fulham out of their rut.
Whether he would return is another matter entirely, but his Fulham side were an absolute delight to watch in the Championship and - should they be relegated - he could be tempted to return and attempt to bag his third promotion to the top-flight.
The football sphere is still awaiting the return of Sam Allardyce who has not been seen in management since Everton ditched him for nemesis Marco Silva last summer. That’s not to say he’s disappeared from the spotlight; only today he was bizarrely trumpeting American President Donald Trump - click here if you’re remotely bothered.
Big Sam has incredibly escaped relegation throughout his managerial career, saving the likes of Bolton, Blackburn, Crystal Palace and Sunderland from the dreaded drop. He’s unlikely to fancy taking the Fulham job right now, given Fulham’s position, but you can never say never.