Chelsea to ‘consider two managers’ if Graham Potter tenure tailspins
Chelsea are reportedly willing to at least consider two potential successors to Graham Potter in case his tenure takes another turn for the worse ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League showdown with Borussia Dortmund. The Stamford Bridge hierarchy are fully behind their boss ahead of the meeting, although it’s understood some figures in the boardroom had been beginning to lose faith in Potter prior to Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Leeds.
Nonetheless, the situation remains delicate and failure to overturn the 1-0 first-leg deficit against Dortmund could spell danger for the former Brighton boss.
According to The Independent, there have already been discussions about a potential contingency plan should Potter’s tenure tailspin beyond resurrection.
It’s said Mauricio Pochettino and Roberto De Zerbi are two names who would ‘at least be considered’ should Chelsea weigh up the prospect of firing Potter.
That said, relieving him and his coaching staff from their duties could cost up to £50million, which would explain why Todd Boehly is said to be so keen on giving Potter time to steady the ship.
Pochettino has been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season and now there is a growing possibility that he could return to Tottenham this summer.
Spurs are expected to wave goodbye to Antonio Conte after nearly two full seasons at the helm as the Italian’s tenure threatens to finish with a whimper.
The Argentine boss spent five-and-a-half years with Tottenham before being dismissed in November 2019 following a troublesome start to the 2019/20 campaign.
Meanwhile, De Zerbi has made quite the impression since replacing Potter at Brighton with the Seagulls now dreaming of European qualification.
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The former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk tactician has continued to drive Brighton forward following the good work carried out by Potter at the Amex, prior to his move to Chelsea.
But Brighton will simply have no interest in engaging in more business with the Blues after they previously left them manager-less in September following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel.
The club’s chief executive Paul Barber recently joked that he even warned his cleaners at the Amex Stadium that they could be head-hunted by the Blues, who also saw a January bid rejected for Moises Caicedo.
Barber told Financial Times live: “I am happy to pick up the phone to Chelsea apart from when it’s for our coaches. I have told the cleaning staff to be careful, they may be headhunted as well.”
It’s understood De Zerbi’s Brighton contract does contain a release clause worth in the region of £11.5m. Potter also had one written into his deal worth around £16m.
The Chelsea boss said after last weekend’s victory over Leeds that he believes he has the support of the club’s hierarchy, although that is not something he is going to hide behind.
“There is support and I’ve spoken to them. But I’m not going to hide behind that. The results haven’t been good enough,” Potter declared after picking up his first win in seven matches.
He later added: “My position is that I need to focus on the next game. Whatever the discussions are, that’s not for me.”
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