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Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca is the leading candidate for a job at Chelsea after the club made a formal approach, according to report



Leicester City's Enzo Maresca is the leading candidate for a job at Chelsea after the club made a formal approach, according to report

Chelsea have formally approached Leicester City about manager Enzo Maresca. according to The Athleticwho now becomes the leading candidate to succeed Mauricio Pochettino at Stamford Bridge, a week after his surprise departure.

The Blues are seeking permission from Leicester to speak to Maresca about the managerial vacancy and are reportedly hoping to complete a deal by the end of the week, although that will depend on the two clubs agreeing on a compensation fee as Maresca is and is under contract with Leicester since 2014. 2026. The process to find Pochettino’s replacement is being led by co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, who were also responsible for the Argentine’s farewell last month.

Pochettino’s only season at Chelsea was turbulent at times, with uneven performances, some poor results and injuries to several key players. However, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager managed to steady the ship midway through the season and guided them to a sixth-place finish, offering some optimism about the progress they could make next season. However, he left the club by mutual consent, meaning Chelsea’s new leadership group is once again looking for a manager just two years after taking over the club.

Maresca emerged as a serious contender for the Chelsea job after leading Leiceter to top spot in the Championship and securing promotion to the Premier League in his first season in the job. He favors a possession-based, attack-oriented style of play which has led to the Foxes scoring 89 goals in the league, second only to Ipswich Town.

That was the 44-year-old’s first full season in charge of a team. His only managerial spell was a six-month spell as manager of Parma in 2021. Maresca was in between Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City and part of their treble-winning 2022-2023 season and was also previously a youth coach at the club.

The Italian will beat out the likes of Brentford’s Thomas Frank and Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna for this performance, as Chelsea focus their efforts on an emerging manager rather than someone with experience at the highest levels of football.

McKenna was perhaps the leading contender once Pochettino’s departure was confirmed. His stock was high after guiding Ipswich to back-to-back promotions and a place in next season’s Premier League. He has also been linked with vacancies at Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United, but will reportedly sign a new long-term deal at Ipswich. according to The Athletic.