The Times have revealed that Chelsea are considering Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino as one of a handful of coaches on a shortlist of managerial candidates to replace Jose Mourinho on a long-term basis.
The Portuguese coach, who won the title with the Blues in the 2014-15 season, was dismissed in December following a miserable run of results, and was replaced by Guus Hiddink until the season’s end.
The Dutch coach has overseen a fine run of results, cumulating in a 1-0 victory over Arsenal on Sunday, but the machinations continue at Stamford Bridge as the Pensioners seek out a long-term successor for Mourinho, and look to identify the ideal candidate to replace Hiddink at the season’s end.
According to The Times, the club have ‘four preferred candidates’ for the role, and are considering Pochettino alongside Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid, current France manager Didier Deschamps—a former Chelsea player, and Jorge Sampaoli, the ex-Chile coach, who left his post at La Roja earlier this year.
The report states that Roman Abramovich ‘has not given up hope’ of tempting Pep Guardiola to west London when the Spanish coach leaves Bayern Munich at the season’s end, although the article acknowledges that Pochettino has emerged as a viable alternative to the ex-Barcelona manager.
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According to the report, Pochettino fulfils two of the criteria sought by Abramovich, with the Argentine coach having demonstrated both his faith in and capacity to develop youth and his commitment to attractive football.