Chelsea are closing in on the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager after more positive talks with the Argentine, according to reports. Julian Nagelsmann initially emerged as the frontrunner for the job after being axed by Bayern Munich, while Luis Enrique was also a serious contender at one point too. However, Nagelsmann is believed to have gone cold on a move to Stamford Bridge while doubts emerged over Luis Enrique, leaving Pochettino as the standout candidate. There is now ‘growing confidence’ that talks with the ex-Tottenham boss will end in a successful conclusion. Discussions have been positive between Pochettino and the club’s owners and confirmation of his appointment could come soon.
Pochettino is believed to have particularly impressed co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali and there is a feeling that he ticks a lot of the boxes they are looking for. As well as having a proven track record of improving players and developing youngsters – something Chelsea’s current squad is desperately in need of – he also brings pedigree and Premier League experience. It remains to be seen how much control Pochettino will be handed in terms of transfers, with the 51-year-old having asked for a bigger say in Spurs’ recruitment in the latter years of his reign to mixed success.
The Chelsea squad are said to be ‘positive and excited’ by the potential arrival of Pochettino, with feedback from Tottenham players who worked under him being relayed to international team-mates currently playing at Stamford Bridge. Despite Pochettino’s hero status in north London – with fans even singing his name this season – Tottenham’s hierarchy are not thought to have explored a reunion following Antonio Conte’s dismissal and are leaning more towards Nagelsmann or Arne Slot.