Porto boss Jose Mourinho has admitted he would be interested in becoming the next coach of Chelsea.
Mourinho denied he had signed a deal with the London club but says he would like a new challenge.
“Chelsea are a great club so, of course, they interest me. Nothing has been signed or agreed yet and we have to be professional,” he said.
“I am an ambitious man and I have taken Porto a long way. Now I am ready for a new challenge.”
It is understood Mourinho and his agent Jorge Mendes met Chelsea’s representative, agent Pini Zahavi, in London on Thursday to thrash out a deal.
“I have had several offers from England but it has to be the right one,’ added Mourinho.
“Having enjoyed my time in Porto, going to another club has to be the right choice.”
Ranieiri, meanwhile, made an unlikely appeal for one more season at Chelsea – a plea likely to fall on deaf ears.
“I have spoken to the players and said that, from the beginning, the Champions League was always a gamble.
“We lost a great chance but Roman Abramovich said ‘don’t worry, next season it will be better’.
“I agree with him. Of course, I’d like to still be part of building the first floor here.
“The foundations and the ground floor are already in place. Now it is important to build the first floor and I hope to stay with this architect.
“This season was a great season in building the group. Now it is a very solid group.
“Of course, it needs something more to improve further but this team has a great future.”