Chelsea are considering between five and seven different managers to replace Graham Potter as head coach, although Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is not in the running, sources have told ESPN.

Potter was sacked on Sunday after less than seven months in charge as the first managerial appointment of the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital era ended in failure with Chelsea languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League.

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Inside story of why Chelsea sacked Graham Potter

Sources have told ESPN that Julian Nagelsmann is on the shortlist, while the club are expected to sound out Mauricio Pochettino and Luis Enrique over the role. Not all individuals identified as possible candidates have been approached at this stage.

As of Tuesday morning, a source close to Pochettino confirmed to ESPN that neither Tottenham, which sacked Antonio Conte last month, nor Chelsea had made formal contact.

Pochettino is open to managing again in England, but the former Spurs boss has also been linked with the Real Madrid job should the LaLiga giants part company with Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the season.

There had also been speculation that De Zerbi was a potential candidate for Chelsea, given his success since replacing Potter at Brighton, but sources close to Chelsea have confirmed he is not of interest.

Sources have told ESPN that no appointment is imminent with Chelsea set to adopt a different approach in hiring Potter’s successor, with the search set to be led by sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart.

Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali appointed Potter within a day of dispatching previous head coach Thomas Tuchel last September.

Although the pair spoke to multiple candidates, Boehly and Eghbali had identified Potter as their preferred choice from the outset and moved quickly to land him, paying around £21 million in compensation to release him from his contract with Brighton.

Sources told ESPN that the pair will this time take a step back from the process with Winstanley and Stewart taking charge.

Winstanley and Stewart informed Potter of the decision to part company in face-to-face talks on Sunday afternoon in a move which had the unanimous backing of the board after a record of 11 defeats in 31 matches.

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Although there was hope Potter could rescue the situation, senior figures at the club concluded that insufficient progress was being made given the £550m spent on transfers since Boehly and Clearlake completed their £2.5 billion takeover in May.

Boehly occupied the role of interim sporting director shortly afterwards but the new owners had always planned to create a new structure above the head coach’s position.

They have made a series of appointments with technical director Christopher Vivell, Joe Shields, Kyle Macaulay and Jim Fraser, who are responsible for talent management and recruitment all now in place.

Boehly and Eghbali are expected to be involved in the managerial search, but at a later stage when the number of candidates is narrowed down further.

Potter’s former assistant Bruno Saltor will take interim charge of the first team for Tuesday’s Premier League home clash with Liverpool.

After Saturday’s trip to Wolves, Chelsea face Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie on Wednesday in the Spanish capital.

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Chelsea eye 7 managers; De Zerbi not in running