Monday, May 15, 2023

By PA Sport Staff

Chelsea are closing in on Mauricio Pochettino as they attempt to land a long-term replacement for Graham Potter.

The PA news agency understands the Blues are in talks with the 51-year-old former Tottenham and Paris St Germain boss over the vacancy created by Potter’s untimely exit last month, but that an agreement is yet to be formalised.

Frank Lampard has been in interim charge since, but the team have won just one of the eight games they have played under him in his second spell at the helm, a run which culminated in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino took former club Tottenham to the Champions League final
Mauricio Pochettino took former club Tottenham to the Champions League final (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Chelsea have three Premier League fixtures remaining – against Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle – and want their new boss in place once the campaign is over.

The Blues have endured a desperately disappointing season despite substantial investment in the playing squad and sit in 11th place having managed just 11 wins in 35 league games.

Julian Nagelsmann was the initial favourite to replace Potter, but they turned to Lampard, who was in charge from July 2019 until January 2021 following a glittering playing career with the club, to see out the rest of the season.

Potter was jettisoned just seven months into a five-year contract, but Chelsea have also struggled under their former midfield general, who at one stage oversaw a six-game losing run in all competitions.

Former Argentina international Pochettino enjoyed a five-year spell at Tottenham, guiding them to the Champions League final in 2019, but has been out of the game since being shown the door by Paris St Germain last summer.

If – as expected – he is appointed by Chelsea, he will inherit an expensively assembled, but under-performing squad who will not have European football next season.

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