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Chelsea 'to make official Enzo Maresca approach amid release clause issue'

Chelsea 'to make official Maresca approach amid release clause issue'
© Reuters
Chelsea are reportedly preparing to open talks with Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca as a potential replacement for Mauricio Pochettino this summer.

Chelsea are reportedly preparing to open talks with Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca as a potential replacement for Mauricio Pochettino this summer.

The Blues recently decided to part ways with the 52-year-old Argentine despite a strong end to the season that saw the side secure sixth place in the Premier League and European football next term.

The club's American owners are now seeking their third permanent managerial appointment since taking over the West London side.

Chelsea's hierarchy are believed to have compiled a comprehensive list of potential candidates for the role and are aiming to make a final decision by the end of next week.

Ex-Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino on May 11, 2024© Reuters

Chelsea to open talks with Maresca over summer move

According to The Guardian, while several options remain on the table, Chelsea will ask Leicester City for permission to open talks with Maresca in the next few days.

The report adds that Maresca, who has an £8.5m release clause in his contract with the Foxes, is interested in joining the Blues and has a strong chance of landing the role.

It is understood that Maresca could be offered a longer contract than the two-year deal with an option to extend that Pochettino had, with Chelsea looking to secure a stable managerial future.

The 44-year-old Italian manager moved to Leicester from Manchester City's coaching staff and had previously managed Parma. He also spent time as a part of the coaching staff at West Ham United.

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

Maresca among three names on Chelsea shortlist

Chelsea's shortlist is believed to include Brentford boss Thomas Frank and Ipswich Town's Kieran McKenna, with the latter understood to be seen as the leading candidate of the two.

McKenna guided Ipswich to promotion to the Premier League after 22 years and has also been linked with potential moves to Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United.

Frank, on the other hand, has previously been overlooked for major roles, but he has achieved remarkable success at Brentford since taking over from Dean Smith in the Championship six years ago.

However, the Dane's release clause, which was originally set at £3m, is expected to have risen significantly since he signed a new contract in 2022.

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