Chelsea appoint Enzo Maresca as manager on five-year deal

Italian becomes fourth permanent manager in two years at Stamford Bridge and arrives having guided Leicester to promotion

Enzo Maresca has been appointed Chelsea manager on a five-year deal following one season at Leicester City. PA
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Chelsea have appointed Enzo Maresca as their new manager after the Italian signed a five-year contract, the Premier League club confirmed on Monday.

Chelsea were in the market for a new head coach after mutually parting ways with Mauricio Pochettino following just one season in charge. Their search was brief, recruiting Maresca from Leicester City less than two weeks after Pochettino's exit.

Maresca will begin his new role on July 1 with an option of a further year.

"To join Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any coach," he said. "It is why I am so excited by this opportunity.

"I look forward to working with a very talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club's tradition of success and makes our fans proud."

Maresca arrives at Stamford Bridge having guided Leicester to the Championship title and a return to the Premier League one season after their demotion. The Italian is the fourth permanent manager in just two years since Clearlake Capital and Todd Boehly bought Chelsea in May 2022.

The signing of a five-year contract should suggest that the Blues see Maresca as their long-term solution, although Graham Potter signed a deal of the same length in September 2022 and was sacked seven months later.

Maresca, a former Juventus and Sevilla midfielder, got his start in coaching under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, where he was in charge of the elite development squad.

He left in May 2021 for his first managerial position with Italian side Parma and was tasked with guiding the club back into Serie A. However, Maresca lasted only three months into the season before returning to City to become an assistant to Guardiola.

After serving under Guardiola for City's historic treble-winning season, the 44-year-old returned to management with Leicester last summer with the remit of taking the former Premier League champions back to the top flight, which he achieved by winning the title with 97 points.

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"We are delighted to welcome Enzo to Chelsea," said Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, Chelsea's co-sporting directors.

"He has proven himself to be an excellent coach capable of delivering impressive results with an exciting and identifiable style.

"Enzo has deeply impressed us in our discussions leading up to his appointment. His ambitions and work ethic align with those of the club."

Chelsea had a shortlist of four managers which included Ipswich Town's Kieran McKenna, Brentford's Thomas Frank, and Roberto De Zerbi, who recently left Brighton & Hove Albion by mutual consent.

However, the club were reportedly impressed by Maresca's depth of knowledge about the squad and his commitment to a possession and positional based brand of football. The Blues are understood to have paid Leciester between £8 million and £10m in compensation for Maresca and his backroom staff.

Updated: June 03, 2024, 3:06 PM