Journalist who broke news about Mauricio Pochettino leaving Chelsea names four likely candidates to replace him

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The Telegraph’s Matt Law has named the four candidates likely to be considered by Chelsea as possible candidates to replace Mauricio Pochettino following the manager’s departure on Tuesday.

Law broke the news that Pochettino had left the Blues by mutual consent following meetings over the last two days with sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali.

After a tough start to life at Stamford Bridge, Pochettino seemed to have turned a corner. A strong second half to the season saw Chelsea fly up to sixth in the Premier League table, guaranteeing them European football next season regardless of the outcome of this weekend’s FA Cup final.

However, the Blues still ended the campaign trophyless for the second season running, after losing the EFL Cup final against Liverpool before exiting the FA Cup at the semi-final stage against Manchester City.

According to Law, Chelsea will immediately search for a young and progressive coach, with four specific names highlighted by the journalist – Sebastian Hoeness, Michel, Kieran McKenna and Enzo Maresca.

Sebastian Hoeness

Sebastian Hoeness is said to be among the contenders for the Chelsea manager’s job this summer

Hoeness will immediately stand out to many as the most exciting candidate Chelsea can target this summer.

The 42-year-old boasts an incredible record of 32 wins and just 10 defeats from 50 games since taking charge of Stuttgart in April 2023. This season, he guided the club to second above Bayern Munich — leapfrogging the Bavarians on the final day of the season — and returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2010.

Stuttgart play an attractive, attacking style of football under Hoeness, who focuses on positional fluidity and positivity in possession.

Hoeness also got the very best out of striker Serhou Guirassy this season, with the Guinea international scoring 28 goals in 28 Bundesliga appearances, finishing second only to Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.


Girona manager Michel pictured during a match against Valencia last week

Michel has been with Girona since July 2021 and has, quite simply, worked wonders.

The former midfielder helped the club return to the Spanish top flight in his first season in charge and hasn’t looked back, with Girona finishing 10th in La Liga in 2022/23 before a stunning rise in this campaign. With one game left to play, Blanquivermellsare guaranteed to finish third, behind only Real Madrid and Barcelona and ahead of Atletico Madrid.

Next season, Girona will compete in the Champions League for the first time in their history, even though it’ll only be their fifth-ever campaign in La Liga.

To see Michel leave before embarking on a European adventure with Girona would be disappointing, but the allure of Chelsea and the Premier League may prove too strong.

Kieran McKenna

Kieran McKenna is the man behind Ipswich Town’s impressive promotion to the Premier League

A little closer to home, Kieran McKenna has been turning plenty of heads after leading Ipswich Town to successive promotions, returning them to the Premier League for the first time since 2002.

Ipswich were the top scorers in their division in each season, netting a mighty 101 goals during the 2022/23 League One campaign before following that up with 92 strikes this time around in the Championship. The Tractor Boys finished second on both occasions and only missed out on the Championship title by a point to Leicester City.

For McKenna, this is his first senior role following previous spells with the Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United U18s, so perhaps a jump straight to the Stamford Bridge dugout could prove a bit too much too soon.

But at the very least, McKenna has earned the interest.

Enzo Maresca 

Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca is attracting interest from Sevilla as well as Chelsea

Staying in the Championship, Enzo Maresca hasn’t even been at Leicester a year yet but is already proving an incredibly popular figure.

That’s hardly surprising after leading the Foxes to the Championship title, returning them to the Premier League at the first time of asking, where they’ll join Ipswich.

However, all is not well at the King Power Stadium with Leicester looking set to face similar punishments to Everton and Nottingham Forest when it comes to their spending.

BBC expert Guillem Balague recently reported that Maresca is unhappy with Leicester’s current financial predicament, while a report from ABC de Sevilla suggests La Liga side Sevilla are keeping tabs on the Italian as a possible hire this summer.

Like McKenna, Maresca is extremely inexperienced in senior management, with a spell in charge of Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad and six months at Parma his only previous jobs.

With Michel the oldest of the four apparent candidates at 48, Chelsea’s strategy in searching out their Pochettino replacement seems clear.

More Stories Enzo Maresca Kieran Mckenna Mauricio Pochettino Sebastian Hoeneß