Chelsea huge blow as top target McKenna chooses ‘No.1 preference’ amid Man Utd, Brighton interest

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd Chelsea McKenna
Kieran McKenna commits to Ipswich Town.

According to reports, Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna has chosen his ‘No.1 preference’ amid interest from Chelsea, Manchester United and Brighton.

McKenna gained valuable experience while managing U18 sides at Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United before he stepped up to coach the Red Devils first-team following the exit of Jose Mourinho.

The 38-year-old made the admirable decision to leave Man Utd at the end of 2021 to have a crack at being a head coach as he joined then-League One side Ipswich Town.

The Tractor Boys were floundering in League One when he arrived. But he has masterminded a remarkable rebuild at Portman Road, with McKenna-ball making waves in the Football League as his side massively surpassed expectations to earn back-to-back promotions to the Premier League.

McKenna to leave Ipswich Town?

His work at Ipswich has not gone unnoticed as he is being targeted by several Premier League clubs ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

McKenna was initially only on the radar of Brighton following Roberto De Zerbi’s exit, but he is now being considered by Chelsea and Man Utd.

Chelsea are on the lookout following their harsh decision to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino, while Man Utd are reportedly set to sack Erik ten Hag after Saturday’s FA Cup final against arch-rivals Manchester City.

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McKenna has emerged as a top target for Chelsea, who are also understood to be considering Enzo Maresca, Thomas Frank and Roberto De Zerbi.

But the Blues could be snubbed by the Ipswich Town boss, with The Times reporting that he will ‘wait on No.1 choice Man Utd before making his decision’.

‘The Ipswich manager is on a four-man shortlist if, as expected, United decide to part ways with the Dutchman after Saturday’s match against Manchester City.

‘The Times revealed on Thursday that United had reached out to representatives of their preferred candidates before the cup final. Chelsea’s decision to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday accelerated their plans because both clubs are looking to hire from the same pool of managers.

‘McKenna is also wanted by Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea. It is understood Brighton interviewed him on Wednesday but his preference would be to return to Old Trafford.

‘United insist that no decision has been made on Ten Hag’s future and that it will not depend on Saturday’s cup final result. However, it is looking increasingly likely he will leave after two seasons at the club, with the 54-year-old anticipating getting the sack.’

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