Jorge Mendes offers Chelsea surprise Mauricio Pochettino replacement candidate

Todd Boehly and co are scouring the managerial market for Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement (Image: Getty)

Super-agent Jorge Mendes has thrown Porto manager Sergio Conceicao’s hat into the ring as a potential successor for Mauricio Pochettino. Chelsea announced on Tuesday evening that they had mutually agreed to terminate the Argentine’s contract, which still had one year remaining plus an option for a 12-month extension.

While the Blues have a clear vision for their next move – focusing on appointing a young head coach who is willing to work within a structure – there are several other external candidates for the role.

Mendes, who has developed a close relationship with Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly after discussing a surprise deal for Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer of 2022, is now promoting Conceicao’s services to Chelsea through the American billionaire – according to The Mirror.

The 49-year-old has been at the helm of Porto since 2017, amassing a total of 10 trophies during his esteemed tenure at the Estadio do Dragao, and recently put pen to paper on a new contract that runs until the summer of 2028.

However, given that the agreement was struck under the watch of former Porto president Pinto da Costa, it can be revoked and crucially, he could depart the Portuguese heavyweights without any financial implications.

Former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has stepped into Da Costa’s shoes following Porto’s recent presidential election and although he has publicly supported Conceicao, formal discussions regarding the latter’s future have not yet taken place and are not anticipated until after Sunday’s Taca de Portugal final against Sporting.

Conceicao has been touted as a potential candidate for the AC Milan role in recent weeks, while Marseille have also expressed interest in his services.

Chelsea insiders have not confirmed whether Conceicao is being considered for the vacancy, with Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna and Leicester’s Enzo Maresca among the names attracting the attention of sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, respectively – report the Mirror.

While the expertise, research and insight of the team are crucial, the final decision on Pochettino’s successor will be made by co-owners Behdad Eghbali, Boehly and Jose E Feliciano. It is understood that Chelsea are likely to avoid a ‘fiery’ appointment as the Stamford Bridge bosses have strong views on the dynamics of working within their structure.

They also plan to maintain significant control over transfer activity. Conceicao is known for his fierce competitiveness and edge.

In March, he lodged a legal complaint against a Spanish mayor after being accused of allegedly hitting a referee at an under-9s match involving his son. He was also involved in a touchline altercation with Thomas Tuchel after the Chelsea and Porto benches clashed during a Champions League quarter-final in 2021.