Premier League • England

Next Chelsea manager: Fabrizio Romano issues key update on Blues hero replacing Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea

Chelsea have been linked with re-appointing Thomas Tuchel

There are two big reasons why Thomas Tuchel is unlikely to return to Chelsea and replace Mauricio Pochettino as manager, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Pochettino has received criticism this season as Chelsea have been languishing in mid-table in the Premier League, despite the club spending more than £1billion on new signings since Todd Boehly arrived at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have managed some impressive wins and performances, but a dire game never seems to be far away.

Chelsea reached 39 points for the season on Monday as they beat Newcastle United 3-2 at home, a victory which was inspired by summer arrival Cole Palmer.

Despite this, they remain in 11th, eight points behind sixth-placed Manchester United with a game in hand, and 16 points off the top four.

In recent weeks, there has been stunning speculation that Tuchel or Jose Mourinho – two managers who previously won major silverware with Chelsea – might return to West London as Pochettino’s replacement.

But in his latest column for the Daily Briefing, Romano has moved to pour could water on the Tuchel links. The journalist states that Tuchel’s difficult exit from Chelsea in September 2022 makes a return unlikely, while Boehly and his fellow Blues officials are looking to stick with Pochettino.

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“I’m aware there have also been some reports about Thomas Tuchel potentially looking to return to Chelsea once he leaves his position as Bayern Munich manager at the end of this season,” Romano said.

“We know Tuchel will be looking for a new club, but for now I have nothing concrete on a move back to Chelsea. I haven’t heard anything about this and don’t like to guess too much, but what I can say is that for sure it was not an ‘easy’ separation between Tuchel and Chelsea when he left in 2022. So it seems like coming back would also not be easy.

Chelsea to ‘stick with Pochettino’

“And, as previously reported, Chelsea’s plan remains to stick with Mauricio Pochettino for now and assess the situation at the end of the season.”

Tuchel has mutually agreed to leave Bayern at the end of the campaign, with the German giants struggling to keep up with unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga title race.

Reports in Germany have claimed that Tuchel feels he has ‘unfinished business’ in the Premier League, which is where the Chelsea return rumours came from.

Instead of going back to Chelsea, the 2021 Champions League winner might actually join an English rival. He has been named as one of the candidates for the Manchester United job, with Erik ten Hag at serious risk of being axed by Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Mourinho, who has managed both Chelsea and Man Utd, has been tipped to return to Stamford Bridge for a third spell after he was sacked by Roma in January.

But Sky Sports pundit Stephen Warnock does not think this would be the right move. When asked about Chelsea possibly re-hiring Mourinho, he replied: “For me, no, no. You have to move on from it. I think to go back for a third spell would be incredible for him from a nostalgic point of view, but I don’t think it’s the right fit.”

Warnock added: “That period of history for Chelsea is gone, and you have to look forward. Would his style of management work on a squad like that? It might do. It might be something that galvanises the squad. But I still think you’ve to give Pochettino the opportunity.”

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