Julian Nagelsmann leads race to manage Chelsea after impressing in talks | Chelsea

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Julian Nagelsmann leads race to manage Chelsea after impressing in talks | Chelsea


  • Chelsea have also made contact with Mauricio Pochettino
  • Almost every player is up for sale at end of season

Julian Nagelsmann has given himself a good chance of becoming Chelsea’s head coach after impressing during initial talks, but the German will face competition from Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea have started to cut their shortlist of candidates and Nagelsmann, 35, is still seen as the likeliest appointment. The former Bayern Munich manager made a positive impression during a meeting with the club’s sporting directors, Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, last week and he has support from the co-owner Behdad Eghbali.

However no decision has been made and Chelsea expect to hold further talks with potential hires. They have spoken to Sporting’s Rúben Amorim and the former Spain and Barcelona manager Luis Enrique. Amorim has not been ruled out but is seen as an outsider. There are doubts over Luis Enrique, who is also being targeted by Tottenham, after he made several demands during talks a fortnight ago.

Chelsea are keeping their options open and have made contact with Pochettino, who has been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain last summer. The former Tottenham manager spoke to Chelsea before they appointed Graham Potter as Thomas Tuchel’s replacement last September. The Argentinian will also be a candidate for Real Madrid if Carlo Ancelotti leaves the European champions.

Chelsea, who placed Frank Lampard in interim charge after firing Potter this month, are under pressure to get their next appointment right. Their season is all but over after their Champions League defeat by Madrid and they are likely to have no European football next season. It is understood some players face the prospect of up to 30% wage cuts because of Chelsea missing out on the Champions League.

Chelsea have spent close to £600m since last summer but some cost-cutting measures are in place. A number of players who have signed new deals or been bought since last year’s takeover by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital have performance-related clauses. Chelsea’s concerns over Financial Fair Play will not be helped by the lack of European football cutting their income. Almost every player is up for sale.

The ownership was placed under further pressure by the former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba accusing them of a lack of class before the second leg against Madrid. That was followed up by Thiago Silva, who captained the side, criticising the recruitment policy.

Mauricio Pochettino left Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2022. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

“I think the first step has been made – an incorrect step, but it has been made,” Silva told Brazil’s TNT Sports. “We can’t be blaming managers if we don’t take responsibility. It’s a hard period for the club, with a lot of indecision, change of ownership, new players.

“We had to increase the size of the changing room because it didn’t fit the size of the squad. A positive point is that there are amazing players within the squad but on the other hand there is always players that are going to be unhappy.

“There is always going to be someone upset because not everyone can play. The manager can only pick 11 (players) from 30-something. That’s tough. Some can’t make the squad. We signed eight (players) in January. We need to stop and put a strategy in place otherwise next season we could make the same mistake.”

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