Ornstein: Chelsea set to appoint Maresca

Edwin  - CEO May 27, 2024
Updated 2024/05/27 at 7:36 PM
3 Min Read
Enzo Maresca Manager of Leicester City Leicester City v Blackburn Rovers, EFL Sky Bet Championship, Football, King Power Stadium, Leicester, UK - 04 May 2024: Photo IMAGO

Chelsea’s pursuit of Leicester’s boss close to agreement



Chelsea FC have received formal permission from Leicester City to engage in discussions with Enzo Maresca regarding their head coach position, Gabriel Ramirez reports for the EPL Index. This move follows Chelsea’s official approach to Leicester on Monday, identifying Maresca as a prime candidate to replace Mauricio Pochettino at Stamford Bridge. The expectation is that a contract agreement spanning at least five years will be reached with the 44-year-old Italian coach.


Maresca’s Rapid Rise

Enzo Maresca’s swift ascent in football management is noteworthy. Having joined Leicester at the start of the 2023-24 season, he impressively led them back to the Premier League as Championship title-winners. His success at Leicester has undoubtedly caught the attention of Chelsea’s co-sporting directors, Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, who have been actively seeking Pochettino’s replacement.



Maresca’s coaching pedigree includes a stint as an assistant to Pep Guardiola during Manchester City’s treble-winning season in 2022-23. Additionally, he has gained valuable experience working with Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham United and managing Parma in Italy’s Serie B. This varied background is likely a key factor in Chelsea’s decision to pursue him.


Since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s takeover in 2022, Chelsea has seen a significant turnover in their managerial position. Thomas Tuchel was dismissed in September 2022, followed by Graham Potter in April 2023. Interim managers Bruno Saltor and Frank Lampard temporarily filled the role before Pochettino’s appointment in July last year. Despite guiding Chelsea to a sixth-place Premier League finish and securing a spot in the Europa Conference League, Pochettino’s tenure ended last week after a performance review.


The process to find Pochettino’s successor has been thorough. Besides Maresca, Chelsea also considered Kieran McKenna, who led Ipswich Town to promotion behind Leicester, and Thomas Frank, known for his commendable work at Brentford. However, Maresca’s successful track record and his association with top-tier coaches like Guardiola have made him the preferred choice.


Strategic Implications

Maresca’s potential appointment signals Chelsea’s strategic intent to foster long-term stability and success. His experience under Guardiola could bring a tactical evolution to Chelsea’s playing style, aligning with the club’s ambitions. Leicester, on the other hand, stands to receive compensation for Maresca’s departure, which is anticipated to be finalised this week.


As David Ornstein reported in The Athletic, “Leicester City have granted Chelsea formal permission to speak with Enzo Maresca about becoming their next head coach.” If negotiations proceed as expected, Maresca will become the sixth manager under the current Chelsea ownership, marking a new chapter in the club’s pursuit of excellence.


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