Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea are being tipped to win the pursuit for a sensational Premier League ace and he may end up ousting his ‘idol’ at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were linked with former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann and ex-Spain manager Luis Enrique after sacking Graham Potter. However, they opted to bring in Frank Lampard until the end of the season to give them more time to look at potential candidates.
Mauricio Pochettino has recently become the frontrunner to take charge of Chelsea. Earlier this week, David Ornstein of The Athletic revealed he is expected to be announced as Chelsea’s next permanent head coach ‘in the coming days’.
Pochettino’s arrival is not yet official, although it surely won’t be long before Chelsea unveil him.
Chelsea have been backed to make Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana the first signing of the Pochettino era, with the former Tottenham boss unconvinced by current options Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy.
However, Inter have downplayed the rumours surrounding their shot-stopper and insist he will be remaining in Italy this summer.
Instead, Brighton star Moises Caicedo could become Chelsea’s first new arrival under Pochettino.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal made bids for the brilliant midfielder in the January window, and Caicedo even submitted a transfer request. But Brighton told his potential suitors he would not be going anywhere and that they would re-evaluate the situation in the summer.
Chelsea eyeing ‘confirmed’ Liverpool target
Liverpool have been ‘confirmed’ as chasing Caicedo, while Arsenal also remain in the mix for him. Brighton have supposedly set his price tag at £80million.
According to Goal’s live transfer blog (13/05 at 15:48), which cites reports coming out of Spain, Chelsea are ready to ‘break the bank’ by handing Pochettino the Liverpool and Arsenal target.
Blues chairman Todd Boehly has come up with an €80m (£70.2m) offer which he will soon send to Brighton.
If previous reports are to be believed, then this will not quite be enough to get the Seagulls to sing. Brighton will likely tell Chelsea to add an extra £10m to that proposal to strike an agreement. But given the huge finances at Chelsea’s disposal, they will easily be able to match Caicedo’s £80m valuation.
The Ecuador international’s agent, Manuel Sierra, recently gave Chelsea a transfer boost by revealing Blues star N’Golo Kante to be his ‘idol’.
“Moises is completely focused on the last part of the season; all evaluations will be postponed until the summer,” the representative said.
“This is not a surprise because there aren’t many other midfielders so young and talented around Europe. I believe he can really improve in every aspect of the game.
“He can slot into any [team] as he is ready for it all. His dream is to play in the Champions League and to reach as far as he can in football. His idol? N’Golo Kante.”
Coincidentally, Caicedo could end up replacing Kante in West London. Kante is now 32 years of age and in the twilight years of his career.
He is loved at Chelsea but is no longer a guaranteed starter there. He has only recently returned from a long injury lay-off, only to pick up another issue according to Lampard.