Manager top of Chelsea’s list comes with £13 million compensation clause

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Mauricio Pochettino’s position at Chelsea is far from secure.

Following an abysmal domestic campaign that sees them 11th with just 35 points after 25 games, the Blues are enduring yet another slump.

And things haven’t been great in cup competitions either.

Although the Londoners did reach last weekend’s Carabao Cup final and had a great chance of lifting the trophy after fellow finalists Liverpool were racked with injuries, Pochettino’s men were dubbed ‘billion-pound bottle jobs’ by Gary Neville after the side fell to a 118th minute Virgil Van Dijk winner.

Roberto De Zerbi tops Chelsea’s list of Mauricio Pochettino replacements

Consequently, as Neville pointed out, with US owner Todd Boehly splashing out well over £1 billion on talent during the last three transfer windows, Pochettino, who replaced Graham Potter last year, must find a way to get his squad firing or the Argentine risks being dismissed.

And according to a recent report from Fichajes, the name at the top of the Blues’ wishlist to succeed Pochettino is Brighton and Hove Albion’s Roberto De Zerbi.

Brighton’s Italian head coach Roberto De Zerbi applauds fans after the UEFA Europa League Group B football match against Marseille

The Italian’s efforts since succeeding Potter at the Seagulls need no introduction. He’s done an excellent job and has turned the south coast side into one of the country’s most competitive teams.

De Zerbi’s record of improving players is one of the best in the league too, and with the struggling Moises Caicedo, formerly of Brighton, now with Chelsea, the 44-year-old could be offered the chance to help the Ecuador international rediscover the form that saw him become British football’s most expensive signing (£115 million) last summer.

Since joining Brighton 18 months ago, De Zerbi, whose contract runs until the end of the 2025-26 season and is believed to contain a £13 million compensation clause, has averaged 1.60 Premier League points per game — 0.10 more than Pochettino is averaging with Chelsea.

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