Premier League • England

Next Chelsea manager: Mauricio Pochettino exit confirmed as Blues draw up shortlist and shock favourite emerges

Sebastian Hoeness and Kieran McKenna are candidates to replace Mauricio Pochettino after his exit as Chelsea manager

Sebastian Hoeness and Kieran McKenna are candidates to replace Mauricio Pochettino after his exit as Chelsea manager

Mauricio Pochettino has left Chelsea by mutual consent after meeting with sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali over the course of the last two days.

As TEAMtalk first reported on Monday, Pochettino was facing a Stamford Bridge exit after the club’s end-of-season review and that has now been made official.

Exclusive information on the departure of Pochettino has been provided by our transfer correspondent Fraser Gillan.

Indeed, we’ve learned that many of the Chelsea first team had no clue about Pochettino leaving the club this afternoon and only found out when the news broke. They are said to be hugely disappointed with the decision.

We also understand that the former Tottenham manager was unhappy with the lack of communication inside Stamford Bridge and felt let down by the club on that front.

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A statement from the club read: “On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season.

“He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching career.”

Pochettino himself added: “Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and sporting directors for the opportunity.

“The club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come.”

The Argentine is the third manager to be sacked, following Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital bought the club in May 2022, while his assistants Jesus Perez, Miguel d’Agostino, Toni Jimenez and Sebastiano Pochettino have also left.

Two names in the frame for Chelsea post

TEAMtalk understands that Stuttgart’s Sebastian Hoeness and Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna have already been sounded out about the role, with the latter potentially the favourite at this stage.

Chelsea chiefs are basing much of the research into who will replace Pochettino on analytics and data, with McKenna showing up very favourably in that regard.

The Portman Road boss has led his side to back-to-back promotions but could end up in a completely different dugout instead when the new campaign opens up on August 14.

We also understand that former Stamford Bridge boss Thomas Tuchel is not in contention for a return at the stage, though Thomas Frank and Vincent Kompany could also be considered.

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A run of five successive wins at the end of this season clinched European qualification for Chelsea under Pochettino, who also took the club to the final of the Carabao Cup and the semi-final of the FA Cup.

He leaves with his head held high and could even make a rapid Premier League return, given events that could unfold at other clubs in the coming weeks.