Mauricio Pochettino is in advanced talks with Chelsea to become manager at Stamford Bridge before the end of the season, replacing interim boss Frank Lampard, a source familiar with the negotiations has told ESPN.
Pochettino, 51, has been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season, but the former Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur manager has now emerged as the favoured candidate to take charge at Chelsea.
He would arrive following a lengthy process to identify a successor to Graham Potter, who was fired after just seven months in charge on April 3. Chelsea had drawn up a short-list including as many as seven names to replace Potter, with former Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann and Pochettino regarded as initial favourites of the club’s owners, Clearlake Capital.
Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim and Real Madrid‘s Carlo Ancelotti were also considered by Chelsea, but a source has told ESPN that Pochettino is now in detailed discussions about taking over at the club.
Pochettino was interviewed for the Manchester United manager’s job last season and made the final two before missing out on the post to Erik ten Hag. He was also interviewed by Chelsea following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel, who he succeeded at PSG in January 2021, before missing out to Potter.
But with Lampard guiding Chelsea to four successive defeats during his reign as interim manager, the club have now decided to act by accelerating plans to appoint a new manager in order to enable him to start work now rather than wait for the summer.
And Pochettino, who took Spurs to the Champions League final in 2019, is now close to becoming the next permanent manager at Stamford Bridge.
Pochettino had also been heavily linked with a return to Tottenham, who are also searching for a new manager following the dismissal of Antonio Conte in March and the sacking of his interim successor Cristian Stellini on Monday following a 6-1 loss to Newcastle on Sunday.
Chelsea, Mauricio Pochettino in advanced talks