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Chelsea 'identify two possible replacements for Mauricio Pochettino'

Chelsea 'identify two possible replacements for Pochettino'
© Reuters
Chelsea allegedly identify two potential alternatives to head coach Mauricio Pochettino as they continue to assess their options ahead of 2024-25.

Chelsea have allegedly identified Roberto De Zerbi and Ruben Amorim as their two preferred alternatives to Mauricio Pochettino.

Blues co-owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital only appointed the Argentine last year, but on just a two-year deal with the option of a third.

Pochettino's opening campaign has been mixed thus far, with Chelsea reaching an EFL Cup final but currently sitting down in 11th position in the Premier League standings.

Although the FA Cup remains a possible route into Europe for 2024-25, progressing through to the quarter-finals is not enough to prevent ongoing speculation regarding his future.

The general consensus is that Boehly and Clearlake will not act until the end of the season at the earliest, recognising that more upheaval for a young squad could be counter-productive at this stage.

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino during EFL Cup final on February 25, 2024.© Reuters

Nevertheless, according to The Guardian, Brighton & Hove Albion head coach De Zerbi and Sporting Lisbon boss Amorim have each emerged as candidates to replace Pochettino.

Both men are also been linked with a wide array of other roles, particularly Liverpool at a time when Jurgen Klopp is preparing to depart his role at Anfield.

While Brighton have not necessarily progressed in the Premier League under De Zerbi this season, the Italian has guided the Seagulls to the last 16 of the Europa League.

Continuing to develop a young squad at the Amex Stadium, De Zerbi now has 35 wins from his 76 games in charge, losing 22, but Brighton are currently ninth in England's top flight, as opposed to their sixth-placed finish in 2022-23.

Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim before the match on February 22, 2024© Reuters

With regards to Amorim, it only appears a matter of time before he makes the move to one of European football's biggest clubs, already having one Primeira Liga title under his belt and Sporting leading the way this campaign.

Amorim's side hold a one-point advantage with a game in hand having won 19 of their 23 league games, scoring 66 goals in the process, while they are also in the Europa League last 16.

The 39-year-old attracted interest from Chelsea earlier in Boehly's and Clearlake's reign, and it would be considered no surprise if they reignited that admiration.

One potential stumbling block in any pursuit of Amorim is an alleged release clause of £13.2m, as well as Chelsea being needed to pay up the remaining year of Pochettino's and his coaching staff's contracts at a time when they need to fulfil the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability criteria.

Pochettino could substantially improve his chances of remaining in the dugout if Chelsea can defeat Newcastle United in the Premier League and Leicester City in the FA Cup before the March international break.

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