Chelsea’s Maresca finalized – and discussing compensation with Leicester

Chelsea have finalized their choice to succeed Mauricio Pochettino as Leicester City’s Premier League-promoted manager, Enzo Maresca.

“Chelsea have formally approached Leicester City and hope to sign Enzo Maresca by the end of the week to become the club’s next manager,” global media outlet The Athletic reported on Sunday.

After the 2023-24 season, Chelsea are once again in the midst of a managerial transition. Mauricio Pochettino, who signed a three-year contract with Chelsea last summer, left the club after just one season in charge, terminating his contract by mutual consent.

Last season, Chelsea had their worst year ever, finishing 12th in the league, failing to qualify for Europe and finishing outside the top 10.

During the 2022-2023 season, Chelsea changed managers twice in an attempt to turn things around, starting with the sacking of Thomas Tuchel, but both moves failed. The ambitious appointment of Graham Potter, who had led Brighton to success, was followed by his dismissal after a poor run of results, and the arrival of club legend Frank Lampard as firebrand failed to stem the team’s slide.

After a disappointing year, Chelsea have revamped their squad and coaching staff ahead of the 2023-24 season. First, they handed the reins to Pochettino, who has extensive Premier League experience.

Pochettino has proven his leadership skills in the past with successful stints at Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur. In the 2018-19 season, Pochettino surprised everyone by leading Spurs to the UEFA Champions League final for the first time in the club’s history.

In January 2021, he took charge of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), but was sacked ahead of the 2022-23 season. He then took a year off before returning to the field to take over at Chelsea.

Since the appointment of Pochettino, Chelsea have been on an astronomical transfer spending spree. According to Sky Sports, Chelsea’s 12 summer signings totaled a whopping £419 million ($695.3 million). The £115 million they spent to sign Ecuadorian midfielder Caicedo set a new Premier League transfer record.

However, Pochettino has failed to live up to the club’s expectations. This season, he led the team to a sixth-place finish in the league 안전놀이터 with 18 wins, nine draws, 11 losses, and 63 points. The sixth place finish secured them a spot in next season’s UEFA Europa League, but Manchester United won the FA Cup to qualify for the Europa League, and they were forced to play in the Europa Conference.

The parting of ways between Chelsea and Pochettino was not unexpected. The Blues were out of the race for the title early on due to poor performances throughout the season. They hovered around the top 10 for most of the season.

Eventually, they rebounded at the end of the season to finish as high as sixth, but Pochettino’s future at Chelsea was quite uncertain. Eventually, the Blues decided to terminate his contract by mutual consent on April 22 and begin the search for a new manager.

Since Pochettino’s departure, three managers have been touted as possible successors. Kieran McKenna, who led Ipswich Town to promotion to the Premier League in three seasons, and Thomas Frank, the Brentford manager who led Leicester City to the Championship (second division) title, were among the favorites to become Chelsea’s next manager.

After reviewing the options, Chelsea are reportedly set to choose Maresca to take charge of the club.

“Having agreed to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea have been on the hunt for a new manager ever since,” The Athletic explained, “and they have asked Leicester for permission to hold talks with Maresca, who joined the Foxes earlier this season and helped them win promotion to the Premier League in his first year in charge.”

“Chelsea will need to agree a compensation package for Maresca, who is under contract with Leicester until 2026, and if an agreement is reached, we expect discussions to take place with Maresca about signing a minimum two-year contract with Chelsea.”

European soccer transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano also confirmed the imminent signing on social media on Sunday, saying, “It is understood that Chelsea and Enzo Maresca are about to agree on the terms of the deal.”

“A two- or three-year contract with an option to extend has been finalized,” he said, adding that “Maresca has already agreed to the Chelsea project and the clubs are now willing to agree on compensation.”

The Italian worked under world-renowned manager Pep Guardiola before taking charge of Leicester City. He assisted Guardiola as first-team coach last season when Manchester City won the first triple treble in the club’s history (Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League).

After the season, Maresca left Man City to take charge of relegated Premier League side Leicester City. Under Maresca, Leicester clinched the early Championship title and returned the club to the Premier League within a year.

Despite never managing a top-flight club before, Maresca’s impressive form in the Championship led to Leicester City’s promotion and the call from Chelsea gave him the opportunity to manage a big club.

With little to show for it yet, there are some concerns about whether Maresca can restore Chelsea’s reputation as a Premier League powerhouse.

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