Mauricio Pochettino close to a deal to become Chelsea head coach
The former Spurs boss could be announced in the coming days but Frank Lampard will remain in charge for the rest of the season.
Former Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has agreed a deal to take over as Chelsea head coach in the summer, according to reports in England.
The Times reports that the 51-year-old has agreed a deal in principle to take over at the London club and his announcement could be made in the coming days.
Chelsea have been without a permanent manager since Graham Potter was dismissed in early April. Former player and manager Frank Lampard was given the role on an interim basis after Potter’s exit but he has one just once in his nine games back in the dugout.
While Pochettino’s appointment is expected to be announcement before the end of the season all indications suggest that Lampard will be in charge for the remainder of the campaign.
Why do Chelsea want Mauricio Pochettino as manager?
In the year since they bought the club Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital has overseen a period of great instability at Chelsea. They have authorised a spending spree that exceeded anything seen under the ownership of Roman Abramovich.
In the past year more than £600 million ($748m) has been spent on new players. However that has not translated to success on the pitch and Chelsea are set for a bottom-half finish this season, left with a bloated and directionless squad.
Pochettino’s previous successes in English football came at Southampton and Chelsea’s London rivals Tottenham, where he transformed young, talented squads into well-organised and exciting teams. His performance at Southampton saw Spurs chairman Daniel Levy bring him to White Hart Lane in 2014 and he delivered Champions League qualification, a second-place finish in the Premier League and a historic run to the Champions League final in 2019.
The Chelsea hierarchy will hope that Pochettino’s ability to work with young players will get the best out of Chelsea’s expensively assembled squad. In January the club spent big on Enzo Fernandez (£106m) and Mykhailo Mudryk (£88m), both 22 years old, but neither has delivered on their promise as yet.
A significant amount was also spent on the likes of Benoît Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, Noni Madueke and Wesley Fofana. Pochettino’s top priority this summer will be helping to develop Chelsea’s misfiring cast of elite young talents.