Chelsea hold ‘in-person talks’ with two candidates as one manager drops out of the running

Joe Williams
Chelsea target Ruben Amorim

Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim is happy in Portugal and will not be considered for the vacant Chelsea job, according to reports.

The Blues are having a terrible season in the Premier League with Chelsea currently 11th in the standings as they prepare for their final seven matches of the campaign.

Graham Potter was sacked earlier this month after winning just 12 of his 31 matches in charge of the club with Bruno Saltor taking over for their 0-0 draw against Liverpool in the aftermath.

But Chelsea quickly appointed former boss Frank Lampard as a caretaker manager until the end of the season with the Blues still on the lookout for a long-term permanent successor to Potter.

Lampard’s time in charge has been disastrous so far with Chelsea losing to Wolves, Real Madrid and Brighton in the former England midfielder’s three matches in charge.

It looks extremely unlikely that Lampard will now be considered for the permanent job with The Athletic‘s David Ornstein insisting that their hunt for a new boss has ‘narrowed’.

Ornstein wrote in his column:

‘That process is now at a middle stage and what initially began as a shortlist comprising five-to-10 candidates has been whittled down to just a handful of options heading into the closing stages.

‘One possibility not expected to figure in the final reckoning is Ruben Amorim. Exploratory talks did take place — Chelsea hold Sporting Lisbon and their manager in high regard — but he is happy at the Portuguese club and the Premier League side are focusing their attention elsewhere.

‘Chelsea also spoke with Amorim when Tuchel left, underlining their long-term admiration for the 38-year-old as he continues to develop his career and build a strong reputation across the game.’

Ornstein says that Chelsea will not be taking their selection process lightly this time around after making a mistake in appointing Potter.

He explains:

‘They are conducting multiple rounds of discussions and interviews before confirming a selection, which will go to Boehly and Eghbali for ratification. Internally, the race is viewed as wide open and with a favourite yet to emerge from the contenders — but a decision is likely in the coming weeks.’

Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique are understood to be two of the frontrunners for the job with The Times claiming that Chelsea ‘held the first in-person talks with Nagelsmann on Thursday’.

They also held ‘calls and meetings with other candidates, with sources at Stamford Bridge insisting no preferred option has yet been identified’.

Former Barcelona boss Enrique has ‘already met’ the Chelsea hierarchy when he flew to London for talks before they appointed Lampard as caretaker manager.

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