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Chelsea next manager odds: Julian Nagelsmann and Mauricio Pochettino among candidates

Who will be the new Chelsea manager after Graham Potter was sacked on Sunday evening?

Luke Baker
Monday 03 April 2023 09:29 BST
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Graham Potter ‘accepts criticism’ in final interview as Chelsea head coach

Chelsea sacked Graham Potter after just seven months in charge on Sunday and now the race to be the next Blues boss comes into focus.

A sub-par return on huge swathes of money spent in the January transfer window ultimately cost Potter his job, with the ex-Brighton coach seeing the club drop to 11th in the Premier League table after Saturday’s disheartening 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

The Chelsea board, including owner Todd Boehly, had preached patience when appointing Potter last September - believing he was the right man to lead their long-term project - but despite reaching the Champions League quarter-finals, his time ultimately ran out.

The Stamford Bridge gig is still one of the most sought-after jobs in European football and Julian Nagelsmann, who was himself surprisingly fired by Bayern Munich last month, is the early favourite but the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane and Oliver Glasner also appear to be in the running.

Here is a look at the contenders and the latest odds as to who will be named the next Chelsea boss:

Chelsea next manager odds (provided by Betfair):

  • Julian Nagelsmann 3/10
  • Mauricio Pochettino 7/2
  • Bruno Saltor 11/2
  • Zinedine Zidane 6/1
  • Pep Guardiola 17/2
  • Oliver Glasner 10/1
  • Ruben Amorim 10/1
  • Luis Enrique 11/1
  • Diego Simeone 12/1
  • Brendan Rodgers 12/1
  • Thomas Frank 12/1
  • Jose Mourinho 14/1
  • Marcelo Bielsa 14/1
  • John Terry 20/1
  • Carlo Ancelotti 20/1
  • Jesse Marsch 20/1

The contenders for the Chelsea job:

Julian Nagelsmann 

Tottenham target Julian Nagelsmann is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Potter. The former Bayern Munich boss led his side to the Bundesliga title in his first season after joining in the summer of 2021, also winning the German Super Cup in 2021 and 2022 before he was sacked and replaced by former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel late last month.

At just 35, the German is several years younger than some members of the Blues squad he would inherit, but the hotly-touted managerial talent’s age does not seem to be an issue for either Premier League side rumoured to be vying for his services.

Mauricio Pochettino

The Argentinian has been out of work since leaving PSG, where he won last season’s Ligue 1 title, and his availability coupled with a record of success in the Premier League naturally places him near the top of the contenders list.

If Potter ultimately proved unable to rise to the massive challenge of marshalling some of the world’s biggest stars, the appointment of Pochettino – who has counted Lionel Messi amongst his charges – would carry no such risk.

Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers parted ways with Leicester following Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Crystal Palace but his history at Chelsea could make him an outside shot for the job.

While the Foxes are now fighting relegation, the Northern Irish manager previously masterminded Leicester to two credible Champions League challenges, not to mention taking Liverpool to within a whisker of the title in 2013-14, meaning he qualifies as a coach of calibre. He spent four years heading up Chelsea’s youth set-up before moving into management, and knows how to get the best out of senior players.

Zinedine Zidane

The former Real Madrid boss spoke as recently as last September about how his lack of fluency in English made him apprehensive about taking a Premier League job, but with his outstanding record both domestically and in Europe with Real, Chelsea will likely dig deep to come up with something mouth-watering if they believe he could be tempted.

The 50-year-old has spent nearly two years out of the game since his second spell at the LaLiga giants, a long time for a manager of his pedigree and hunger.

Ruben Amorim

Tottenham fans will attest to what a wily operator the Sporting Lisbon coach is, with Amorim’s team taking four Champions League points off them this season and beating them 2-0 with a whirlwind performance in Lisbon last September.

The 38-year-old is yet to truly announce himself as a rising star, and after the Potter experiment the Chelsea board may not be ready to take another punt on potential. Yet his tactical nous and – maybe just as important after Potter – passion, make him undoubtedly a coach worthy of a grander stage than Portugal’s Primeira Liga.

Jose Mourinho

Is it really so unthinkable? With such a huge turnover of senior personnel and a sense of self that has grown disparate, there might be some logic to bringing back the man who has managed Chelsea in more games than any other this century. Notwithstanding his record of three Premier League titles and obvious affection for the club and its fans, ‘new Chelsea’ are in desperate need of a personality who knows exactly what the old one was all about.

He recently tasted European success after guiding Roma to Conference League glory last June, and with Roman Abramovich – who sacked Mourinho not once but twice – gone, there would be a clean slate of sorts from which to work. Stranger things have happened.

Additional reporting by PA

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