EX NAZI boss Adolf Hitler is to be sensationally named as the new Chelsea manager within the next week.
The controversial appointment is a clear indication that the Chelsea owner, Roman Abromovich, is looking for a more hard-line manager to replace the 'soft' style of current manager, Claudio Ranieri.
Ranieri has been criticised in some quarters this season for his laid back style, and sources within the club report that Abromovich regards this as the main reason why Chelsea failed to lift a single trophy during the campaign.
Last night, chief executive Peter Kenyon was in secret talks with the 110 year-old Hitler at the German's secret retirement hideaway in Southern Argentina. He is expected to be offered a 5 year deal.
The appointment of Hitler is bound to surprise Chelsea fans who were confidentially expecting the arrival of Porto boss Jose Mourinho.
However, after preliminary talks, Chelsea cooled their interest after it emerged that Mouinho disagreed with Abromovich's new disciplinarian ideas for the club.
This will not be a problem for Hitler, however. The tough German dictator has been in retirement since bowing out as Nazi boss in 1945. Despite being out of football for so long, he has kept a close eye on the game and his number 2, Joseph Goebbels has frequently watched Premiership games and done co-commentary with Ron Atkinson.
Hitler's age will also not be a problem for Abromovich who has noted the success of Newcastle's 96 year-old manager Bobby Robson.
The only foreseeable snag to Hitler's appointment will be the fact that he has been thought dead for the last 59 years and the British, American and Russian governments will probably want him tried for War Crimes committed during his reign as Nazi boss.
However, Abromovich is counting on his newly found influence with the British Government to smooth over any problems with the authorities.
Hitler will be expected to fly into London later next week to meet the Chelsea players and discuss his transfer targets for next season.
It is known he is very keen on acquiring Poland and he may even mount a bid for Czechoslovakia within the next month.