There is optimism at Chelsea that the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino could be completed as early as this week, according to reports.
Pochettino is now the odds-on favourite to replace Graham Potter after talks with Luis Enrique and Julian Nagelsmann broke down.
Nagelsmann immediately emerged as the favourite for the job and there was an expectation that it would be him or Enrique.
However, both pulled out of the running last week.
This left Burnley boss Vincent Kompany, Pochettino and an unnamed manager as the remaining candidates.
The appointment of Pochettino would be gutting for Tottenham fans after he spent five-and-a-half years in north London.
He has been linked with a return to The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, though it is unclear whether or not he has ever been a serious option.
Multiple reports suggest Pochettino will be the next Chelsea manager, and we have a fresh update from The Independent.
The Blues have apparently ‘made significant progress’ towards bringing the Argentine to Stamford Bridge.
The ‘growing expectation’ is that Pochettino will replace Potter and an announcement could be made ‘as early as this week’.
Talks have ‘picked up’ and although a deal is yet to be complete, an agreement being reached this week is well within the realms of possibility.
In case a deal falls through, Chelsea are keeping in contact with other candidates, though talks with Pochettino have been ‘smooth’ thus far.
The club’s recruitment team believe the former Southampton and Spurs boss is the ‘outstanding candidate’ and his past with their London rivals ‘will not be an issue’.
It is noted that a return to Spurs has never been a ‘serious option’ for Pochettino. Both parties have ‘liked the idea’, but always felt it would be best to move on from each other once and for all.
Pochettino spoke to the Chelsea hierarchy last year after Thomas Tuchel was sacked. They opted to appoint Potter, however.
Nagelsmann and Kompany are among those being considered by Spurs and the former is believed to be open to taking on the job.