Chelsea ‘to rival’ foes for ‘leading contender’ to replace Pochettino with ‘interest’ in favourite ‘cooled’

Jason Soutar
Kieran McKenna is being targeted by Chelsea
Kieran McKenna is being targeted by Chelsea

Chelsea are ‘prepared to rival Brighton for the appointment’ of Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna following the decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino.

The Blues confirmed in a club statement on Tuesday evening that Pochettino has left the club after a single season in charge, with journalist Matt Law claiming the ex-Tottenham boss will land a ‘significant compensation’ package.

Despite constant speculation over Pochettino’s future at Stamford Bridge, his departure comes as a surprise given Chelsea’s strong end to the campaign, qualifying for the Europa League via a sixth-place finish in the Premier League, though Manchester United winning the FA Cup would see them fall into the Europa Conference League.

The Argentine manager reportedly held talks with the club’s hierarchy over the previous two days and the decision to part ways by mutual consent was made on Tuesday morning.

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We now await Chelsea’s decision on who their new manager will be, with lots of young coaches in the frame.

Roberto De Zerbi is the current favourite, according to the bookies, following his recent exit from Brighton – who want to replace the Italian with Ipswich’s McKenna.

De Zerbi to Chelsea ‘cooling’, McKenna to Chelsea intensifying

However, Chelsea have ‘cooled their interest’ in De Zerbi, according to a report from The Guardian.

The report claims that there are five names being considered by the Blues, with McKenna appearing to be their top target.

It is said that ‘Chelsea are prepared to rival Brighton for McKenna’ as the 38-year-old has ’emerged as one of the leading contenders’.

The Blues have ‘been speaking to McKenna’s representatives for a number of weeks’, which is ‘slowing’ down Brighton’s attempts to bring him in.

Also being considered by Chelsea are Brentford boss Thomas Frank, Girona’s Míchel, Stuttgart’s Sebastian Hoeness, and, despite relegation from the Premier League, Burnley’s Vincent Kompany.

Ruben Amorim has been linked with the Stamford Bridge job but it is claimed that ‘there are concerns’ the Sporting boss’ style ‘does not fit the squad’s tactical profile’.

Meanwhile, ‘interest in De Zerbi has cooled’.

A report from Matt Law has ruled out the appointment of any of Chelsea’s former bosses, despite Thomas Tuchel’s reported interest in a return.

This also rules out Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho, unfortunately for us all.

More: Chelsea news | Who will replace Pochettino at Chelsea?