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Who will be the next Chelsea manager? De Zerbi and McKenna lead the race

After Mauricio Pochettino's shock departure from Chelsea, attention now turns to who could replace the Argentinian in the Stamford Bridge hotseat and some familiar faces are being touted for the job.

It seemed like things were looking up for the Blues after Pochettino led his side into a European place with a fantastic run of form late on in the season. 

The surprise news of Pochettino's departure has left the football world collectively baffled, as he'd finally got Chelsea ticking and playing some good football, with the Blues seemingly in a good position to challenge the top four next season. 

However, the enigma that is Todd Boehly has struck again and has sacked his third manager in just under two years at the West London club. 

It appears that the improvement from last season and securing Europa League football, if Man City win the FA Cup, was not good enough for Boehly and Pochettino has paid the price. 

The question now is who will replace Poch, we've had a look at the bookies' odds and listed a few contenders below. 


Roberto De Zerbi

Former Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi

The Italian left his post at Brighton after their final game of the season against Man United and if he is appointed it would repesent yet another big name trading the seaside for the capital, following on from Graham Potter, Marc Cucurella and Moises Caciedo. 

De Zerbi's achievements at Brighton in 2022/23 were impressive, leading the side to a sixth-placed finish and an FA Cup semi-final, only to lose on penalties to Man United.

However his second season wasn't as good, steering the Seagulls to 11th and they finished below their bitter rivals Crystal Palace. He led his side out of a tough Europa League group but got pummeled at Roma in the round of 16 and he won only one of his last 10 Premier League games with the club. 

Some bookies have De Zerbi's odds as low as evens and it will be interesting to see whether Boehly is put off by the Italian's second season syndrome or if the American's Brighton obsession continues.


Kieran McKenna

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna

This time last year not many people outside of Suffolk will have heard of Kieran McKenna, and it's testament to the job he's done at Portman Road that he's being mentioned as a contender for one of English football's top jobs. 

Ipswich Town's feat of back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League is nothing short of incredible and it's understandable that he is being linked to bigger jobs. 

However, this could be a case of deja vu for Chelsea as the last time they poached a promising young English manager from another club it didn't end well, with Potter being sacked just seven months into his Stamford Bridge reign. 

McKenna certainly deserves his shot at a bigger job and the bookies have his odds at around 5/2, but undoubtedly questions would be raised about this appointment given his lack of experience in top-level football.

He may need another job before he makes the jump to the top.


Ruben Amorim

Sportin Lisbon's Ruben Amorim

The Sporting Lisbon head coach has been making a name for himself in recent years and the bookies have him as a short-priced contender for the top job at Chelsea. 

Amorim led his Sporting side to a comfortable title win this season, beating city rivals Benfica by 10 points, he also won the league in 2020/21 and has won two domestic cups as well during his spell in Lisbon.

Alongside this, it was rumoured that the Portuguese coach was one of the candidates for the Liverpool job, but reportedly turned it down before Arne Slot took the job. 

The 39-year-old is one of the most in-demand coaches in Europe and certainly fits the bill with Boehly reportedly wanting a young manager, most bookies have him at around 8/1.


Thomas Frank

Brentford manager Thomas Frank

Could Thomas Frank be making the short hop from Brentford to Chelsea? Well he certainly has done enough to warrant an opportunity at a bigger club.

The Brentford boss has been one of the most underrated operators in the top flight in recent seasons, securing a fourth consecutive Premier League season for the Bees. 

The West London club have one of the lowest budgets in the league and have gone toe-to-toe with the elite, with a highlight of Frank's tenure being their 3-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium in November 2022, the last time Man City were beaten on their own patch.

Chelsea could do far worse than the proven Premier League operator that is Frank and his odds with most bookies are currently around 10/1.


The outsiders

Former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who was sensationally sacked at the start of the Boehly era, has odds ranging from 7/1 to 14/1 from the bookies, surely the German won't go back to Stamford Bridge after the way his last tenure ended. 

Hansi Flick, who won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2020, has odds of around 10/1 with most bookies, while Bournemouth's Andoni Iraola is at around 25/1 and Luton's Rob Edwards is at 33/1.


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