Chelsea 'open talks' with another manager as Todd Boehly snubs Jose Mourinho

Chelsea could snub Jose Mourinho in favour of another manager after Mauricio Pochettino’s exit (Image: GETTY)

Chelsea have reportedly opened talks with Leicester boss Enzo Maresca, with owner Todd Boehly appearing to snub former manager Jose Mourinho. The Blues are on the hunt for a new boss after parting ways with Mauricio Pochettino earlier in the week.

Pochettino struggled during his early days in the capital but turned Chelsea’s form around after Christmas and led them to a sixth-place Premier League finish.

The west Londoners lost just one of their final 15 league matches of the campaign as they climbed the table and secured a return to European football. But Pochettino surprisingly headed through the Stamford Bridge exit following a meeting with sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley.

According to The Sun, Maresca is a leading candidate to succeed Pochettino alongside Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna and Brentford manager Thomas Frank.

The fine details of any contract are yet to be discussed, but the 44-year-old could be handed a longer deal than the two years Pochettino was initially given. And the Italian is said to be encouraged by the early talks, although there are no favourites at this stage.

Maresca was appointed Leicester manager last summer following a spell as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City. He was previously Manuel Pellegrini’s No.2 at West Ham and also spent six months in charge of Parma in Serie B.

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Chelsea have reportedly opened talks with Leicester boss Enzo Maresca (Image: GETTY)

After taking the top job at the King Power Stadium, the former midfielder led Leicester to 31 league wins as the Foxes beat Ipswich to the Championship title by one point.

Maresca is now held in high regard thanks to his endeavours during his first year as a No.1 in England. And transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has explained that he is ‘open and super keen on joining Chelsea’.

If Maresca does win the race to become Chelsea manager, it could come at the detriment of former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who has been tipped to return to Stamford Bridge for a third spell in the dugout.

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Mourino led Chelsea to back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 during his first stint as Blues manager, before adding a third top-flight trophy during his second spell in 2015. But the two-time Champions League winner has since been sacked by Manchester United and Tottenham and has just completed his third season as Roma manager in Italy.

And earlier in the week, The Telegraph reported that the Chelsea board won’t be tempted into handing Mourinho the reins as they would prefer to appoint a younger up-and-coming manager.