How Chelsea’s number one target to become their next manager has impressed the club

Chelsea are closing in on appointing Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca as their next manager and have been impressed by the “depth and breadth” of his knowledge of their current squad, according to reports.

The Blues announced the departure of Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday evening following just one season in charge, and in the subsequent days have been hard at work to appoint a new manager.

An initial four man shortlist was put out with Maresca, Kieran McKenna, Roberto De Zerbi and Thomas Frank named as the candidates but it now seems Chelsea are closing in on Maresca, their number one target.

Chelsea impressed by Maresca’s obsession with possession

Maresca, a former assistant of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, is now said to be Chelsea’s number one target with The Telegraph reporting the Blues have approached Leicester for permission to speak to the 44-year-old.

The Italian guided the Foxes to the Championship title last season, but after a strong start, Leicester limped home, and finished just a point above Ipswich.

Appointing Maresca is a huge gamble given there’s such a small body of work to go off, but Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol has revealed several things that impressed the Chelsea hierarchy during their conversations with him.

Solhekol took to X and said: “Chelsea closing in on making Enzo Maresca their new head coach. Chelsea have been impressed by depth and breadth of his knowledge about their squad in talks with his representatives.

“Also impressed by his single-minded focus on the way Chelsea want to play and his desire for the job, his obsession with possession and positional play have made him the leading candidate.

“Chelsea have asked for Leicester for permission to speak to Maresca, he is now their preferred choice to replace Mauricio Pochettino.

“Appointment could be made in the next few days if and when agreement is reached with Leicester, Chelsea willing to pay compensation and personal terms also need to be agreed.”

Solhekol goes on to add Chelsea reached out to McKenna to inform the Ipswich boss that he wouldn’t be offered the job.

“McKenna was told by phone last night that Chelsea were looking elsewhere but they are great admirers of his achievements at Ipswich”, he added.
“Chelsea also like and respect Thomas Frank and everything he has achieved at Brentford, Roberto De Zerbi was also a leading candidate with a very impressive CV.”
It’s hard to feel that this would be anything other than a huge gamble and a really uninspiring appointment, which on the face of it has more negatives than positives to it.
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