Premier League • England

Exclusive: Chelsea four-man manager shortlist confirmed as Boehly, Eghbali book in interviews

Chelsea have four names on their manager shortlist

Chelsea have four names on their manager shortlist

Chelsea are pushing on with their pursuit of a new manager and those in charge of the process are keen to speak with candidates over the next few days.

Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have drawn up a shortlist of targets and TEAMtalk can exclusively reveal that the names being discussed are now down to the final few.

Chelsea have informed two of the candidates that they are being called to interview and sources state that there will likely be a conversation with a third, and perhaps a fourth.

Kieran McKenna 

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna is a top choice, as previously reported, and is seen as the perfect match from the data sets used to identify Chelsea’s next manager.

Although he has not yet taken charge of a Premier League match his way of playing the game and development of young players is very attractive to Chelsea.

They will have to move quickly to appoint McKenna, however, due to the fact Manchester United are big admirers of his and will want to speak to him after the FA Cup final.

McKenna is very keen on taking the Chelsea job and has made it known to Ipswich that his future lies elsewhere.

He is also coveted by Brighton and then have been pushing to beat Chelsea to the punch. He has left them waiting as he wants to speak with Chelsea about the managerial vacancy.

His release clause at Ipswich is about £4m and this is also attractive to Chelsea who are battling PSR, but it is not something that the club will make a decision on.

TEAMtalk can confirm McKenna has been notified that he will be spoken to by the Blues.

Enzo Maresca

Leicester City‘s Enzo Maresca is a surprise name on the list and that fact is not lost on Chelsea who are aware his appointment would be underwhelming to its supporters.

The Blues board don’t seem to care, however, and they are keen to push on with their ideals and build the club their way.

Maresca’s way of playing, success with Leicester and ethos gained from being a pupil of Pep Guardiola make him an attractive prospect to Chelsea and he will also be spoken to.

The Foxes have been made aware of Chelsea’s intention to interview him and are keen to hold onto him. However, the former Man City man is very keen to take the job at Stamford Bridge.

Maresca, who only took charge of Leicester last summer, has a release clause in the region of £8.5 million at the King Power Stadium. Higher than McKenna’s, but not off-putting to Chelsea decision makers.

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Ruben Amorim

TEAMtalk sources have been clear for a long time that Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim would be open to speak with Chelsea about the role.

He is also being discussed behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge, with a source saying he has “one major backer within the board.”

Some have been unsure of his processes and tactical acumen matching the Chelsea squad and ideals of the club however he has spoken with them before and impressed.

Amorim is being discussed a lot and we understand he has dominated much of the conversations.

He is very keen to manage in the Premier League and has spoken with West Ham over a potential role recently, however he did not feel they aligned in thinking and turned down the opportunity.

Sources in Portugal expect an approach for an interview by Chelsea and are clear that it will be hard for the Sporting manager to turn down.

He is someone who knows what he is looking for and is not averse to saying no if he feels it is the incorrect opportunity.

There has been a lot of talk around his release clause but he could be allowed to leave for as little as £8 million if he has a verbal agreement with Sporting. Without that, it will cost Chelsea around £12 million to take him from the Portuguese side.

Roberto De Zerbi

Former Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi is a man who has a lot of interest around Europe, with sources stating Manchester United are also watching him with interest.

The Italian does have some supporters within Chelsea but there is a split due to the fact that he knows what he wants and will speak his mind.

His tenure with the Seagulls ultimately ended because of this and the Chelsea board do not want someone who will cause unrest and disharmony if they don’t get their way.

They are keen to have a manager that will grow with the squad and follow the transfer policy of hiring young talented players.

Although De Zerbi worked with young talent at Brighton, he wanted a higher class of player and left the club as a result.

Sources say its difficult to see the Italian in charge at Stamford Bridge under Chelsea’s new ownership but he has been spoken about and could be brought in for an interview.

TEAMtalk can also reveal that Xavi Hernandez could be a shock name to keep an eye on given he’s been sacked by Barcelona. He is another name who has been discussed within Chelsea before. Thomas Frank also remains in the frame but sources consider him difficult to shift at this point.

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