Chelsea in talks with Leicester boss Maresca

Home » Chelsea in talks with Leicester boss Maresca

Chelsea are in talks to appoint Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca as the replacement for Mauricio Pochettino.

The Italian, 44, took charge of the Foxes in June 2023 and has just led them back to the Premier League by winning the Championship at the first attempt.

Maresca is interested in moving to Chelsea, with talks continuing between the two clubs, 24 hours after Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna dropped out of the race for the role.

Former Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi and Brentford’s Thomas Frank have not been fully ruled out but there is broad consensus across the club that Maresca is the right choice.

Chelsea would have to pay compensation fees for any of their remaining options.

Pochettino left the club by mutual consent last week after finishing sixth in the Premier League in his one season in charge.

BBC Sport understands Leicester would be seeking £8m-£10m in compensation for Maresca, who served his coaching apprenticeship as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.

Whether the deal gets done would be dependent on Chelsea’s willingness to pay such a fee.

However they are determined to agree a compensation package in the coming days.

The Italian was chosen primarily by sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart from a four-man shortlist in the last week.

Co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali has also been in London for the process and is the key figure from the ownership across the potential appointment.

A combination of data, interviews and due diligence background checks have been utilised to find their top candidate.

The Blues believe Maresca will fit in the club structure, and they were impressed with his prior knowledge of the squad.

His background working as Guardiola’s assistant was also viewed positively, with board members impressed with the rebuilding job Mikel Arteta, another Guardiola protege, has done at Arsenal after leaving Etihad Stadium.

Chelsea believe they are building an elite structure and hope that a hands-on, tactically proficient coach can get the best out of their expensively assembled squad.

Former Manchester United assistant manager McKenna, who led Ipswich to promotion from the Championship, is being linked with Brighton, as well as with a return to Old Trafford if the FA Cup winners sack Erik ten Hag.

Ipswich want to keep hold of McKenna and are expected to offer him a new contract – although last week there were indications he would be unlikely to renew his deal.

He is contracted to Ipswich until 2027 and any club will need to pay at least £4m compensation.

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