Mauricio Pochettino close to agreeing a deal to become Chelsea’s next manager with discussions understood to be entering the ‘final stages’.
Pochettino has been without a club since leaving Paris Saint-Germain last season and has now emerged as the favourite to take over at Chelsea, following the club’s decision to sack Graham Potter earlier this month.
Fabrizio Romano is reporting that the former Tottenham manager held a ‘crucial round of positive talks’ with the Chelsea board on Monday evening and is now ‘closer than ever’ to being named as the west London club’s next head coach.
Pochettino’s proven record in improving emerging talent will appeal to the Chelsea hierarchy, whose recent recruitment has focused on young players with room to develop at Stamford Bridge.
The 51-year-old’s knowledge of English football and front-footed brand of football are also likely to have seen him move ahead of rival candidates, with Chelsea having also held talks with former Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann – who ruled himself out of the running to replace Potter over recruitment reservations – and ex-Barcelona boss Luis Enrique.
Pochettino spent five-and-a-half seasons in charge of Spurs and led the north Londoners to four consecutive top four finishes in the Premier League and to the 2019 Champions League final.
He won the Coupe de France and Ligue 1 title during 18 months at PSG, but departed last summer after a challenging period in France.
Pochettino had been tentatively linked with a return to Spurs, his former club on the lookout for yet another new manager following the dismissal of Antonio Conte, while his interim replacement Christian Stellini has also been sacked.
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