Mauricio Pochettino is at growing risk of losing his job as Chelsea manager, with Blues co-owner Todd Boehly reportedly targeting Girona’s Michel as a high-quality replacement.
Pochettino was hired by Chelsea in May and was tasked with improving the young group of players and also helping the team get back in the top-four conversation. The Chelsea hierarchy told Pochettino they would be patient with him, as they know it is a tough project that requires plenty of time before regular title challenges can be mounted once again.
Chelsea went on a good run between December 16 and January 23, picking up seven wins in nine matches, while also reaching the League Cup final. Although, it must be noted that they came up against some lower league opposition that they would be expected to beat in that period.
The West London outfit have since come up against some tougher sides, and they have struggled. Following a goalless draw with Aston Villa in the FA Cup, they have lost to both Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League, conceding four times in each game.
The hugely disappointing results leave Chelsea 11th in the top flight, seven points off the top six.
There are some signs Pochettino is cracking under the pressure, while reports have claimed Boehly might be ready to wield the axe.
According to Sport Witness, who cite reports emerging from Spain, Boehly is eyeing up Michel as a successor to Pochettino.
Michel is a 48-year-old coach who is doing an incredible job at Girona. After helping the club gain promotion from the Spanish second tier in the 2021-22 season, he has now made them into genuine title contenders.
Chelsea want to land Girona boss
Girona have won 17 out of their 23 league matches so far this campaign, putting them in second place. They are ahead of La Liga giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid and only two points behind leaders Real Madrid.
Michel has worked closely with Girona to sign players who are great ball carriers, while also being able to press high and force their opponents into making mistakes.
While Girona are owned by the same conglomerate as Manchester City, City Football Group, they have not spent big money to get towards the top of the table. Instead, they have relied mainly on cheap signings and free transfers, with Michel able to vastly improve such players.
All of these factors have seen Michel become a prime target for Chelsea. If the Madrid-born manager can do that on a shoestring budget, then he could work wonders at Stamford Bridge with huge money at his disposal.
In a major boost for Boehly, Girona are already preparing for life without Michel. It is claimed that they are on the hunt for a new manager as they know the former Rayo Vallecano star will likely join a major club such as Chelsea in the near future.
Michel will probably want to remain at Girona until the summer, so that he can see out the club’s title challenge, though Boehly may try to convince him on an immediate switch to Stamford Bridge.
The American billionaire will want to avoid a repeat of last season, when he axed Graham Potter, only for things to get worse under caretaker boss Frank Lampard.