Mauricio Pochettino will be left feeling red-faced after finding out he was not the ideal manager choice for Chelsea, with an agent detailing who the Blues went after first.
On Saturday, various sources including Fabrizio Romano, The Athletic and The Telegraph revealed Chelsea had taken one big step closer to appointing Pochettino. They have reached a full agreement with the former Tottenham boss after he accepted all the conditions to take over at Stamford Bridge.
Despite Frank Lampard’s struggles as interim manager, Pochettino will not come in and replace him straight away. Instead, Pochettino will want until the summer before becoming the new head coach. As per David Ornstein, Chelsea officials view the summer as an opportunity to have a clean slate following an eventful campaign.
There have already been plenty of reports detailing Pochettino’s potential plans for the Chelsea squad. He is eager to bring a new striker in following Chelsea’s poor form in front of goal and is eyeing both Victor Osimhen and Randal Kolo Muani. Manchester United like the pair of deadly centre-forwards as well.
Chelsea and Man Utd could also compete for the capture of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar. Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip claims Chelsea represent the ‘only real option’ for Neymar, despite recent interest from Man Utd.
Even though Pochettino is set to be announced as Chelsea’s new boss, he may be embarrassed after finding out he was not actually their first choice for the role.
During an appearance on the German podcast Phrasenmaher, agent Volker Struth has revealed Julian Nagelsmann was actually who Chelsea initially wanted to take over. Struth said (via Fabrizio Romano): “[I] can confirm that Chelsea were quick to call for Julian. He was their number one choice; I believe it would have happened if he wanted it.
“It was the right decision by Julian not to go there.”
Julian Nagelsmann put off by Chelsea challenge
Chelsea will not be happy about Struth claiming it to be a good decision from Nagelsmann to reject them. This suggests they are a club which is not heading in the right direction.
However, it is understandable that Struth may think this. After spending £600million in the last two transfer windows, Chelsea will only manage to finish mid-table in the Premier League this campaign.
As a result, they will not compete in next season’s Champions League, which could ruin their hopes of signing more big-name players this summer.
Nagelsmann will have had serious concerns about the size of the Chelsea squad. This is something Graham Potter struggled to deal with following a host of expensive new arrivals.
Pochettino has a huge job on his hands to trim the squad down to his liking. He must quickly evaluate which players he wants to keep and play regularly, and which ones he wants to offload as they may only create a negative mood in the dressing room.