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Chelsea in Talks with Leicester Boss Enzo Maresca to Replace Pochettino

Chelsea in Talks with Leicester Boss Enzo Maresca to Replace Pochettino

Chelsea is in negotiations to appoint Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca as the replacement for Mauricio Pochettino.

The 44-year-old Italian, who took charge of Leicester in June 2023, has successfully led the Foxes back to the Premier League by winning the Championship in his first attempt.

Maresca is keen on the move to Chelsea, with discussions ongoing between the two clubs, just 24 hours after Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna withdrew from the race for the role.

Former Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi and Brentford’s Thomas Frank are still in consideration, but there is a broad consensus at Chelsea that Maresca is the ideal choice.

Compensation fees will be required for any of the remaining candidates.

Pochettino parted ways with Chelsea by mutual consent last week after finishing sixth in the Premier League in his single season in charge.

Sources indicate that Leicester would demand £8m-£10m in compensation for Maresca, who previously served as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.

The completion of the deal hinges on Chelsea’s willingness to meet the compensation fee.

Chelsea is determined to finalize a compensation package in the coming days. Maresca was primarily chosen by sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart from a shortlist of four candidates.

Co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali has also been actively involved in the selection process, playing a key role in the potential appointment.

A combination of data, interviews, and due diligence background checks has been used to identify Maresca as the top candidate.

Chelsea is impressed with Maresca’s understanding of the squad and his experience working as Guardiola’s assistant. His background is seen positively, especially considering the successful rebuilding job done by Mikel Arteta, another Guardiola protege, at Arsenal.

Chelsea believes that they are building an elite structure and hopes that a hands-on, tactically proficient coach like Maresca can maximize the potential of their expensively assembled squad.

Meanwhile, former Manchester United assistant manager Kieran McKenna, who led Ipswich to promotion from the Championship, is being linked with Brighton and a potential return to Old Trafford if Erik ten Hag is sacked.

Ipswich wants to retain McKenna and is expected to offer him a new contract, despite indications last week that he would be unlikely to renew his deal. McKenna is under contract with Ipswich until 2027, and any interested club would need to pay at least £4m in compensation.

Credit: BBC Sport

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