Carlo Ancelotti should stay at Chelsea - Ray Wilkins

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti
Ancelotti has been linked with a move to Italian side Roma

Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins says under-pressure Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti should not be sacked at the end of the season.

Ancelotti's future is the subject of intense speculation with Chelsea set to end the campaign without a trophy.

But Wilkins told BBC Radio 5 live: "I don't think it needs a radical change... but they certainly need new players to freshen the place up.

"Wholesale changes, starting from the coach, would be the wrong way to go."

Chelsea are poised to end the campaign without silverware after Sunday's defeat at Manchester United virtually ended their hopes of a second straight Premier League title.

United also knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League in April.

Former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, who led the club to FA Cup glory in 2009, has been strongly linked with a return to Stamford Bridge although the Russia coach is reportedly not keen on the job.

Fellow Dutchmen Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard have also been mentioned as possible replacements along with Andre Villas-Boas, who has guided Porto to the Europa League final this season.

Chelsea legend and former West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has been linked with a coaching role at Stamford Bridge.

Ancelotti, who has a year left on his contract, admitted on Monday that his side had fallen short this season but denied that wholesale changes needed to be made to his squad.

And that view is supported by Wilkins, who worked with Ancelotti at Chelsea until parting company with the Blues in November.

"Chelsea have a nucleus of players, I know a lot is spoken about how old these players are but trust me the fitnesss levels are exceptionally high," he added.

"The age thing does not really creep in. They do have the fitness levels of younger men."

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said in March that Ancelotti's future will be assessed in May and after Sunday's defeat at Old Trafford, when asked whether he expected to keep his job, Ancelotti replied: "I don't know.

"I understand that people are interested. Me too. We have to wait two weeks [until the end of the season] and after that we wait on the decision of the club.

"I said a lot of times I would like to stay here at this club but if it is not possible, we will find a different way."

Former AC Milan coach Ancelotti joined Chelsea in 2009 and guided the Blues to a Premier League and FA Cup Double last year.

However, his side struggled to keep pace with Manchester United in the title race this season.

Chelsea were 15 points adrift at the end of February but a superb run in the league, picking up 25 points from a possible 27, put them within striking distance of United going into Sunday's crunch game at Old Trafford.

But Javier Hernandez struck for Manchester United after only 36 seconds and their captain Nemanja Vidic headed a second midway through the first half to set up a victory that virtually assured a record 19th top-flight title for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

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