Chelsea stance on hiring Roberto De Zerbi as Italian has Todd Boehly hurdle to overcome

Roberto De Zerbi has a Chelsea challenge to overcome if he is to replace Mauricio Pochettino (Image: Getty)

Roberto De Zerbi will need to prove that he can work within Chelsea’s structure to win the Stamford Bridge job ahead of Kieran McKenna, Enzo Maresca and Thomas Frank, it has been claimed. Reports suggest that the former Brighton head coach is trailing behind rivals in his bid to be appointed by the West Londoners.

De Zerbi departed Brighton at the end of the Premier League season to pursue other challenges. The Italian had won plaudits for helping the Seagulls qualify for the Europa League for the first time in their history, but a disappointing run of form towards the end of last term has raised question marks over his suitability for a top job.

Chelsea are looking for a new manager after mutually agreeing to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino last week. De Zerbi is claimed to be under consideration.

Roberto De Zerbi will need to prove that he can work within Chelsea’s club structure (Image: Getty)

However, the Daily Telegraph reports that he will need to demonstrate that he can work within the existing structure at Stamford Bridge. Co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart wield plenty of power at the club, something that irked Pochettino during his one-year reign.

De Zerbi publicly complained about Brighton’s model last season and wanted more influence over transfers, something that is widely believed to have in part led to his exit. The South Coast side tend to target younger players who can be developed and turned into a major profit, while De Zerbi wanted more experienced stars.

There is uncertainty over whether he might find himself frustrated with the structure at Chelsea should the 44-year-old take the job.

The report continues that De Zerbi can be a ‘challenging character’, but his possession-based style is particularly attractive to Chelsea chiefs. Co-owner Todd Boehly has a major decision to make over the coming weeks.

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McKenna and Maresca are widely claimed to be the favourites for the Chelsea job following their successes with Ipswich and Leicester, respectively, last season. Brentford boss Frank also reportedly has admirers among the Blues’ hierarchy.

Chelsea took several months to confirm Pochettino as the permanent successor to Graham Potter 12 months ago, with Frank Lampard leading as caretaker boss in the interim. However, Boehly and co. are not expected to take as long this summer.

That is especially the case as Chelsea will be well aware that Manchester United may be shopping in the same managerial market as them if they choose to part ways with Erik ten Hag. However, the current favourites for the United job are former Chelsea bosses Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel.