A thriving manager who held talks with Chelsea has been ruled out of contention, while a top source claimed a damaging defender exit – potentially to Liverpool or Man City – could hinge on who takes the reins.
The Blues bought themselves time when appointing club legend Frank Lampard until the end of the season. Lampard has found the going exceedingly tough so far, with defeat to Brighton on Saturday making it three losses from three since taking charge.
Regardless, who’ll become Chelsea’s next permanent manager is what their fanbase wishes to know and according to David Ornstein, who it won’t be has emerged.
The Guardian recently reported Chelsea had held opening talks with Sporting Lisbon’s highly rated Ruben Amorim.
The 38-year-old is earning rave reviews for the work he’s doing at Sporting Lisbon. Aside from excelling in Portugal where he’s guided Sporting to one Primeira Liga and two Portuguese league cups, he’s also ruffled feathers in Europe.
Sporting defeated Tottenham 2-0 in the group stage of this season’s Champions League. After finishing third in a tough group, Sporting dropped into the Europa League where they proceeded to knock Arsenal out in the Round of 16.
However, despite holding ‘exploratory talks’ with Chelsea, Ornstein stressed on Monday morning that Amorim ‘won’t be the new Chelsea head coach’.
Amorim remains admired by the Blues hierarchy, though for the time being at least they’re focusing their attention elsewhere.
On that front, former Spain and Barcelona boss, Luis Enrique, has already held talks. BILD reported Julian Nagelsmann has also been invited to interview for the position.
Ornstein added Chelsea’s search – which is being led by co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley – has already been whittled down to just a handful of candidates.
Enrique and Nagelsmann are presumably among them, though Ornstein claimed there is no clear favourite just yet.
Once Stewart and Winstanley decide on a candidate, the name will be put forward to Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali who’ll ratify the selection.
Chelsea defender future hinges on new appointment?
Elsewhere, who becomes the next Chelsea manager could have a major say on the future of Levi Colwill.
The 20-year-old is impressing on a season-long loan at Brighton. The left-sided centre-half recently made his debut for England at Under-21 level and per the Evening Standard, his stellar display caught the eye of Liverpool and Man City.
Both clubs are on the lookout for left-sided centre-halves this summer. Liverpool don’t have a single left-footer among their centre-back ranks, while Aymeric Laporte’s time at the Etihad looks like it could be up this summer.
Colwill’s contract at parent club Chelsea doesn’t expire until 2025. There’s also a performance-related option for another 12 months that’ll trigger if he plays what the Athletic term an ‘achievable’ number of first-team appearances the season prior.
However, their reporter, Simon Johnson, adds Colwill is expected to wait and see who Chelsea’s next manager is before deciding whether to sign a contract extension.
The Blues hope to tie Colwill down to a new and improved deal in lieu of his superb development this term. For the time being, they have no intention of cashing in if a new deal isn’t penned, though it’s reiterated Boehly is adopting a more ruthless approach to his squad moving forward.
Boehly will explore sales for players who enter the final year of their deal from now on. The idea there is to help balance the books in the future by ensuring they always receive fees for exiting players rather than see them leave as free agents.
Chelsea believe Colwill has a future at Stamford Bridge. However, if the player isn’t taken by who Boehly and co. choose as the next permanent manager, the seeds will be sowed for a future exit.
Losing a such a promising talent who’s also homegrown to a direct rival like Liverpool or Man City would be worst case scenario for Chelsea.