Next Chelsea manager: Candidates to replace Thomas Tuchel

Graham Potter, Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane are among the early contenders

Jamie Braidwood
Wednesday 07 September 2022 13:01 BST
Chelsea Sack Head Coach Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea have sacked manager Thomas Tuchel following the club’s 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

A statement from the club read: “As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition."

The news comes as a major shock around the Premier League, with Tuchel leading Chelsea to the Champions League title a little over a year ago. Tuchel will leave big shoes to fill, as well as a squad that saw over £250m of investment during the transfer window.

Chelsea and their new ownership group led by Todd Boehly have made a strong statement and said they will move swiftly to appoint a new coach, but who could replace Tuchel at Stamford Bridge?

Graham Potter

The Brighton manager is the early favourite after the club’s strong start to the season. Potter has caught the eye with Brighton’s style of play and is regarded as an impressive young coach, but the Chelsea job would be a significant step up.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Brighton have given Chelsea permission to speak with Potter over the vacancy.

Brighton manager Graham Potter is among the candidates (Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino

The former Tottenham manager replaced Tuchel at Paris Saint-Germain but was sacked by at the end of last season after falling short in the Champions League.

His record of improving players, showcased during his time at Tottenham, could fit with the Chelsea ownership’s long-term plan of developing young talent.

The Independent’s Miguel Delaney reports Pochettino has interested Chelsea before and would be an easier appointment to make than Potter.

Pochettino was sacked by PSG and then overlooked as Manchester United opted for Erik ten Hag (AFP via Getty Images)

Zinedine Zidane

The former Real Madrid manager was linked with the PSG job following Pochetttino’s departure and has still not taken up a role elsewhere after leaving the Bernabeu at the end of his second spell in 2021.

Zidane has one of the most impressive managerial CVs around after winning three Champions League titles in a row at Real Madrid, but Chelsea may want a project manager.

Zidane has only ever managed Real Madrid but has an excellent record (AFP via Getty Images)

Brendan Rodgers

The Leicester manager was a candidate to replace Frank Lampard before Tuchel’s appointment early in 2021 and appears unhappy at the King Power after the club’s poor transfer window.

Even though Leicester are bottom of the Premier League, Rodgers - who is a former Chelsea coach - remains highly regarded and the Foxes beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup during Tuchel’s first season.

Diego Simeone

One of Europe’s most respected coaches, who would bring a distinctive style, Simeone has led Atletico Madrid to two LaLiga titles and took the club to the verge of Champions League glory.

There are signs that his time with Atletico has peaked, however, and he was linked with Manchester United job last year. This would be a difficult appointment and it may not be what Chelsea want.

Marcelo Bielsa

Loved by Leeds fans after taking the club back to the Premier League and widely viewed as one of modern football’s most influential coaches, Bielsa could rediscover his spark at Stamford Bridge after his project at Elland Road lost legs.

Jose Mourinho

Sacked by Chelsea midway through the 2015-16 season, as the club’s title defence spectacularly imploded, Mourinho is still a club legend despite since taking up jobs at Manchester United and Tottenham. Could a third spell at Chelsea happen? Never rule anything out at Stamford Bridge.

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