Chelsea Eye Fabio

FABIO CAPELLO last night emerged as a shock contender to replace Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea. The Italian's resignation as England manager has immediately cranked up the pressure on the beleaguered AVB. There is spiralling speculation at Stamford Bridge that the former AC Milan and Real Madrid boss is about to be installed as Blues' eighth boss in eight years. One Chelsea source said last night: "There are strong rumours that Capello is coming and it could be sooner rather than later." Owner Roman Abramovich has been a regular at the training ground this week, often in deep discussion with Villas-Boas. It would not be the first time the Russian billionaire has courted an England boss. In 2003, he tried to coax Sven Goran Eriksson away when the Swede was at the height of his popularity and then tried again a year later. Sunday's draw against Manchester United, where Chelsea threw away a 3-0 lead, further highlighted the club's decline under the 34-year-old rookie Portuguese manager. The team's stuttering form has already seen billionaire Abramovich intervene personally. The looming danger of missing a top-four finish and Champions League football next season has heightened anxiety to crisis level. Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have all left Chelsea trailing. And the bungling Blues can not shake off the threat from Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle for fourth place. AVB's clashes with some big stars, his questionable tactics and baffling substitutions have alienated him from many die-hard Chelsea fans. Now it is believed the ruthless Abramovich is losing patience too. AVB insisted last night he was happy. He said: "The owner's presence is not distracting at all. You can speculate all you want but it is fantastic to have him here."He watches the team, I train them. "We speak all the time but it's better to have these conversations face to face." Even so Abramovich sacked World Cup winner Phil Scolari in February 2009 with Chelsea in danger of failing to make the top four. So AVB better be prepared for the worst.