Kieran McKenna 'decides stance on Chelsea job' as Ipswich boss stands out to Blues

Kieran McKenna has given Chelsea the green light. (Image: Getty)

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna has reportedly encouraged Chelsea in their hunt for Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement. McKenna is said to be keen to take the reins at Stamford Bridge after the Blues parted ways with Pochettino halfway through his two-year contract.

After guiding Ipswich to the Premier League via back-to-back promotions from League One, the 38-year-old’s reputation as one of Europe’s top young coaches has soared.

And he is reportedly ready for the next step in his blossoming coaching career as Chelsea search for their sixth head coach in two years under the turbulent Clearlake-Boehly regime.

According to Standard Sport, McKenna has welcomed Chelsea’s interest in his services, giving the club the thumbs up to formalise an approach.

Ipswich unsurprisingly want the Northern Irishman to stay and will reportedly offer him an improved contract. Any deal to lure him away from Portman Road would require at least £4million in compensation.

McKenna – who was named the League Managers Association Manager of the Year this week – is also said to be on Brighton and Hove Albion’s shortlist after Roberto De Zerbi’s sudden exit.

Manchester United have also been linked with the club’s former assistant manager, who worked alongside Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after joining from Tottenham Hotspur as U18 boss.

Chelsea are claimed to be eyeing a young, progressive coach to succeed Pochettino, and McKenna fits the bill after guiding Ipswich back to the top flight for the first time in 22 years.

Kieran McKenna is one of Europe’s top young coaches. (Image: Getty)

Pochettino oversaw five consecutive wins to end a difficult season with a flourish, guiding the Blues back to European football with a sixth-place Premier League finish.

However, on Tuesday, the Argentine mutually agreed to leave Stamford Bridge after showdown talks with Chelsea bosses.

McKenna isn’t the only coach on the Blues’ radar, with multiple names also being linked with the position in the early stages.

Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim has been a long-term reported target, but it appears unlikely that he will depart Portugal this summer.

Brentford’s Thomas Frank is said to have admirers at Chelsea, as does Stuttgart manager Sebastian Hoeness and Girona’s Michel.

Leicester City’s Championship-winning manager Enzo Maresca is also thought to be under consideration among figures at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are moving quickly to secure their man ahead of a crucial summer transfer window as they continue their ascent back to the top-four conversation from their mid-table slumber.

But Brighton and United’s reported interest in McKenna could mean the Blues have to move extra sharply to avoid missing out.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1902621/Chelsea-news-Kieran-McKenna-Man-Utd-Brighton