Chelsea add two Liverpool managerial targets to shortlist of possible Mauricio Pochettino replacement

Replacement: Chelsea add two Liverpool managerial targets to shortlist of possible Mauricio Pochettino replacement

Chelsea have placed Ruben Amorim and Roberto De Zerbi on their shortlist of potential successors to Mauricio Pochettino should the Argentine be relieved of his duties at Stamford Bridge.

Despite spending in excess of £1billion on new signings since Todd Boehly’s takeover, Chelsea find themselves languishing down in 11th place in the Premier League table, 19 points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa.

The Blues had looked to have turned a corner from Christmas through to the end of January, but results have dipped again in recent weeks, with the side managing just three wins from their last eight matches in all competitions.

Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final defeat at the hands of a vastly inexperienced Liverpool team came as an especially painful blow, with the FA Cup now representing the club’s last realistic shot at silverware this season.

As Chelsea surrendered a first-half lead to draw 2-2 away to Brentford last weekend, away fans began to turn on Pochettino at the Gtech Community Stadium – chanting for the 52-year-old’s dismissal while calling for the return of Jose Mourinho.

Pochettino said he understood their frustrations and even encouraged supporters to direct their anger in his direction than at his players amid their current malaise.

According to The Guardian, Chelsea want to avoid kneejerk decisions over their manager – which they have been guilty of in the past – and wish to wait until the end of the campaign before making a call on Pochettino.

The report indicates key staff members within Chelsea’s hierarchy are still backing Pochettino despite recent results, though the ex-Spurs boss’ future could hinge on whether the west London giants secure European football via the FA Cup this term.

It’s claimed Todd Boehly favours continuity after a period of turbulence at Chelsea, with the club going through four separate managers last season. However, Amorim, 39, and De Zerbi, 44, are firmly on the club’s radar should Pochettino’s position become untenable.

Amorim has won plenty of admirers leading Sporting to four trophies in four years and had been considered by Chelsea before Pochettino’s arrival, while De Zerbi has established himself as one of the most sought-after managers in world football after an exceptional 18 months in charge of Brighton.

Liverpool have also been credited with a strong interest in both Amorim and De Zerbi and could provide fierce competition as they search for Jurgen Klopp’s successor.

It’s understood Amorim has a release clause in his contract at Sporting worth around €10million (£8.7m) and the Primeira Liga outfit are not expected to stand in the Portuguese’s way should he ask to leave.

De Zerbi, meanwhile, is tied into a contract with Brighton until 2026 and the Seagulls would demand the Italian’s €15m (£12.8m) release clause is paid in full for potential suitors to force his departure.

 

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