Chelsea is currently in discussions with Leicester’s manager, Maresca

Chelsea is currently in discussions to appoint Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca as the successor to Mauricio Pochettino. Maresca, a 44-year-old Italian, assumed leadership of the Foxes in June 2023 and swiftly guided them back to the Premier League by clinching the Championship title in their first attempt. Sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, alongside co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali, are key figures in the decision-making process.

Extensive measures including data analysis, interviews, and background checks have been undertaken to identify the top candidate. Chelsea sees Maresca as fitting seamlessly into their club structure, impressed by his familiarity with the squad and his background as Pep Guardiola’s assistant, akin to the successful rebuilding undertaken by another Guardiola protege, Mikel Arteta, at Arsenal.

Chelsea aims to establish an elite structure and believes a hands-on, tactically adept coach can maximize the potential of their highly skilled squad. Meanwhile, former Manchester United assistant manager Kieran McKenna, who guided Ipswich to Championship promotion, is linked with Brighton and a potential return to Old Trafford should FA Cup winners Manchester United part ways with Erik ten Hag.

Ipswich is keen to retain McKenna, although indications suggest he may not renew his contract expiring in 2027. Maresca, intrigued by the prospect of joining Chelsea, is engaged in ongoing talks between the clubs, with McKenna no longer in contention for the position.

While former Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi and Brentford’s Thomas Frank remain under consideration, there is a prevailing consensus within Chelsea that Maresca is the preferred choice. However, any potential appointment would entail compensation fees, with Leicester reportedly seeking £8m-£10m for Maresca’s services, necessitating Chelsea’s willingness to meet such financial demands.

Nonetheless, Chelsea is committed to finalizing a compensation package in the coming days as they seek to secure their next managerial appointment following Pochettino’s departure by mutual consent.

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