Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Next Chelsea manager: Title winning coach says ‘yes’ to Boehly with Man Utd to land No 1 pick

Leicester manager Enzo Maresca has been strongly linked with the Chelsea job

Enzo Maresca has been strongly linked with the Chelsea job

Chelsea have been given the green light to appoint one of their top candidates to replace Mauricio Pochettino after Fabrizio Romano dropped a major update on the chances of Enzo Maresca taking the job and with Manchester United now seen as more likely to land an alternative.

The Blues are escalating their quest to land a new manager this weekend after parting company with Pochettino earlier this week, with TEAMtalk exclusively bringing you the news that a meeting over his future was booked in on Monday and amid serious divisions within the Chelsea boardroom.

Indeed, our journalist Fraser Gillan has several strong connections at Stamford Bridge and has also explained the detailed reasons as to why the axe ultimately fell on Pochettino’s reign, with Todd Boehly very much in his corner, but several other members of the board, including co-owner Behdad Eghbali, very much feeling that, despite reaching a cup final and finishing sixth in the Premier League, the Argentine had underachieved.

Now Gillan has also been bringing us the inside track on the current process at Stamford Bridge over the appointment of a successor to Pochettino.

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He has revealed that the Blues’ hunt – being led by Eghbali – is being very much driven by data and analytics, and they want a young, progressive coach to help bring the Chelsea vision to reality.

To that end, our man has revealed the four-man wanted list Chelsea are currently working through and their chances of landing the job rated, with interviews set to be held over this weekend and the next few days.

Enzo Maresca says yes to Chelsea job

And with Kieran McKenna, Roberto De Zerbi, Ruben Amorim and Maresca all shortlisted, the London side hope to reach an agreement on their next boss sooner rather than later.

However, the latest update on the situation comes from another trusted reporter in Fabrizio Romano, who has revealed that Leicester boss Maresca has now greenlighted a move to Stamford Bridge.

The Italian, who worked as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Man City over the 2022/23 season, led the Foxes to the Championship title in his first season at the helm, as they sealed a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

However, his stint at the King Power Stadium could prove a short one, with the 44-year-old having seemingly made it clear he is willing to accept the job at Chelsea if offered.

Providing an update on the situation, Romano told Caughtoffside: “I’m receiving many questions about Enzo Maresca guys, and I can confirm that Maresca is super open and super keen on joining Chelsea. So it’s a concrete possibility.

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“He’s not the only target. [Sebastian] Hoeness doesn’t want to leave Stuttgart, Michel is also very happy at Girona, but Thomas Frank remains there, McKenna remains there and it’s true that there is also another candidate in Chelsea’s list but there’s no clarity on who that is yet, so they are still discussing all the possibilities.”

On the chances of Maresca taking the job, Romano added: “Maresca said no to Sevilla, he wants to work in the Premier League, at Leicester or any other club, he wants to stay in England and he has a release clause around €10m.

“It’s really open, and I understand why Chelsea are taking their time to pick the best option possible.”

Next Chelsea manager: McKenna prefers Man Utd job

We understand, however, that Chelsea’s preference to take the job is McKenna, who has led Ipswich to successive promotions and having taken the Tractor Boys from the doldrums of League One to the Premier League in just over two years.

However, the 38-year-old is a man in demand and he is also on the radar of his former club Manchester United as they ponder life after Erik ten Hag.

The Northern Irishman was a coach at United, starting with the youth teams before being promoted to working with the first-team squad under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, before leaving for Portman Road in December 2021.

However, his time at Ipswich looks likely to now come to an end with both Premier League giants in a contest for his services.

It is United, though, who appear to be in the driving seat with reports having indicated his representatives have already met with United’s technical director Jason Wilcox and incoming CEO Omar Berrada to discuss a possible move.

And per reports, McKenna is in favour of a move to Old Trafford above Chelsea and now believes the job of succeeding Ten Hag ‘is his’.

That news will obviously come as a blow for Chelsea in pursuit of the same target and hence the big new update on Maresca.