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Chelsea 'set deadline for appointing new manager'

Chelsea 'set deadline for appointing new manager'
© Reuters
Chelsea reportedly set a deadline for appointing a successor to former manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea have reportedly set a deadline for appointing a successor to former manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The Blues ended the 2023-24 campaign on a high as they won each of their last five Premier League matches to climb up to sixth place and secure European football for next season.

However, just over 48 hours after Chelsea beat Bournemouth 2-1 in their final match of the season, the club announced that Pochettino has "mutually agreed to part ways" after just 11 months at Stamford Bridge.

Pochettino has thanked Chelsea and the club's hierarchy for his brief opportunity to take the reins, and he believes that the Blues are "now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come."

It is thought that Chelsea are keen to appoint a younger coach who would instil a possession-based philosophy, and a host of names both in England and abroad have since been linked with the vacancy.

 Brentford manager Thomas Frank applauds fans after the match on April 3, 2024© Reuters

Chelsea to appoint new head coach by the end of the week

According to Sky Sports News, Chelsea expect to appoint a new head coach by the end of next week.

The report adds that Brentford's Thomas Frank, Leicester City's Enzo Maresca and Ipswich Town's Kieran McKenna are the three leading candidates to succeed Pochettino.

Chelsea are said to have looked at a small number of other managerial names including Stuttgart's Sebastian Hoeness and former Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi, while 'a high-profile mystery name' is also on their radar.

Co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley are said to be drawing up a final shortlist of candidates and the final decision on who will become the club's new head coach will be made by the ownership group, including co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali.

It is claimed that whoever is chosen as the preferred candidate, pending an agreement with all parties, will put pen to paper on a contract that will be longer than the two-year deal signed by Pochettino last summer.

Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca reacts on March 17, 2024© Reuters

Frank, Maresca, McKenna in frame for Chelsea job

The work of Brentford boss Frank is said to be admired by Chelsea's hierarchy and they believe that he has the right attributes to take the club's youthful squad forward.

Frank, who has also been linked with Manchester United, has spent the last six seasons in charge of the Bees and successful steered the club away from the Premier League relegation zone for a third successive season in 2023-24, ending the campaign 16th in the table and 13 points clear of the bottom three.

Maresca, meanwhile, guided Leicester to the Championship title in his first season as a senior manager, and it is claimed that his attractive style of football appeals to Chelsea - the Italian, like Arsenal's Mikel Arteta, worked under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City before stepping into management.

Recent reports have suggested that Maresca has already turned down a job offer from Sevilla, as he would prefer to continue his managerial career in the Premier League, seemingly handing Chelsea a boost.

As for McKenna, he was recently named the LMA Manager of the Year, beating Guardiola and Arteta to the award, after securing back-to-back promotions for Ipswich and leading the club back to the Premier League for the first time in 22 years.

The 38-year-old is under contract at Portman Road until 2027, but it is understood that he would be interested in holding talks over the Chelsea vacancy.

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Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna on April 30, 2024
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