Chelsea hold talks with Leicester's Enzo Maresca to take over as manager

Blues impressed by former Guardiola assistant's work at Foxes, according to reports

Leicester manager Enzo Maresca is on Chelsea's radar as the Blues look for the replacement of Mauricio Pochettino. PA
Powered by automated translation

Chelsea are reportedly holding talks to make Leicester City's Enzo Maresca their new manager.

The Italian was Pep Guardiola's assistant at champions Manchester City until last year. He has overseen an immediate return to the Premier League for the Foxes following their relegation 12 months ago.

The Chelsea hierarchy are looking for a successor to Mauricio Pochettino after they parted ways with the Argentine after just one season. Maresca's style of football is said to have impressed the Chelsea board, with Sky Sports reporting that the Blues had asked Leicester for permission to speak directly to Maresca on Monday.

The BBC reported that Leicester would be seeking £8-10 million in compensation for Maresca. It is also believed Maresca will fit in the club structure with his prior knowledge of the squad.

His stint as Guardiola’s assistant is also being seen positively, with Chelsea board members impressed with the rebuilding job Mikel Arteta, another Guardiola assistant, has done at Arsenal after leaving City.

According to the BBC, "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".

Brentford's Thomas Frank and Kieran McKenna, who led Ipswich Town to top-flight promotion behind Leicester, were also linked with the vacant position.

McKenna has also been linked with Manchester United and Brighton, but reports suggested he was inclined to stay at Portman Road and sign a new deal.

Pochettino left after a late surge resulted in Chelsea finishing sixth in the Premier League, thus securing qualification for the Europa Conference League, but missed out on Champions League qualification and a trophy.

Although Pochettino led the Blues into Europe, it was a difficult season for the former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss.

Pochettino's side were booed by their fans after several underwhelming performances. Chelsea lost the League Cup final 1-0 to Liverpool after extra-time and pushed Manchester City all the way before losing in the FA Cup semi-finals by the same scoreline.

Chelsea's chairman Todd Boehly expected better after spending over £1 billion on new signings in his two-year reign.

Pochettino is the third manager after Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter to be axed since US-based Boehly's consortium bought the west London club.

Chelsea's task of identifying a replacement for Pochettino is being overseen by co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart.

Chelsea 2023/24 season ratings

Updated: May 28, 2024, 5:35 AM