Chelsea 'rejected' by Kieran McKenna as Leicester set price for Enzo Maresca

Kieran McKenna had been linked with the Chelsea vacancy. (Image: Getty)

Chelsea were reportedly rejected by Kieran McKenna before the Blues eventually landed on Enzo Maresca as their Mauricio Pochettino replacement.

Pochettino decided to walk away from Chelsea last week, with a decision on his exit being sanctioned by mutual consent.

McKenna – who recently guided Ipswich Town to back-to-back promotions – had emerged as one of the early front-runners to take over from the Argentine.

However, it is now reported by The Guardian that McKenna will instead stay at Ipswich, having rejected Chelsea’s approach for him to become head coach.

McKenna is said to have waved away calls from Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion, who themselves had identified the Northern Irishman as a potential Roberto De Zerbi successor.

Neither club will get to call McKenna their manager next season, as it’s claimed he’s on the verge of penning a contract extension with the newly promoted side.

What’s more, such has been Ipswich’s desire to keep him at the club for their first season back in the big time, the Suffolk-based are prepared to make McKenna one of the best-paid managers in English football.

Enzo Maresca is tipped to leave Leicester City for Chelsea after just one year in charge. (Image: Getty)

Instead, Chelsea have identified Maresca as their next boss, with the Italian expected to leave his role as Leicester City gaffer to make the journey down south.

While the Foxes have granted Chelsea permission to speak to Maresca, the two-time European champions will only secure his signature if a compensation package can be agreed with Leicester.

And it’s claimed by the report that a fee in the region of £10million will be demanded in order for Maresca to join Chelsea.

Should the two Premier League sides finalise an agreement for Maresca’s arrival, it’s expected the former Manchester City assistant will pen a five-year deal with the west London outfit.

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The Chelsea hierarchy are willing to put a show of faith in Maresca, even though the Italian coach has completed just one full season as a manager.

Apart from his less 12-month spell as Leicester’s promotion-winning boss, Maresca’s only other job as head coach lasted just 14 games.

Coming back in 2021, Maresca spent six months at Italian outfit Parma, where he won just four games as manager.

Following that, he returned to his previous side Man City, with Maresca part of the backroom staff that helped lead the club to their first-ever Champions League triumph.