Chelsea have reached a verbal agreement with Brighton boss Graham Potter to replace Thomas Tuchel as their new head coach.
Tuchel was sacked on Wednesday Following Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League and only six games into the new Premier League season.
Chelsea owner Todd Boyle met Potter in central London on Wednesday afternoon for what was described as “positive conversations” about the Brighton manager’s future role at Stamford Bridge and the club’s plans to develop the entire football operation.
Those discussions continued early Thursday morning, focusing on the legal details of his contract and Potter’s backroom staff.
No contracts have been signed yet, but both sides have reached a verbal agreement about the 47-year-old taking over at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have made it clear that they are ready to face Brighton’s exit clause number from Potter.
Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane, both unemployed, as well as Ruben Amorim, coach of Sporting Lisbon, were on Chelsea’s radar.
Potter will become Buhle’s first administrative appointment after taking office in the summer. The American is still acting as sporting director after moving on to director Marina Granovskaya, chairman Bruce Buck and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech in an overhaul of Roman Abramovich’s trusted staff.
Sky Sports analyst Jamie Carragher:
“It’s a ruthless club, I’m not sure [Graham Potter] Is the right choice – Chelsea might say they want to do things differently in the future in terms of having a coach in charge rather than a manager or do things behind the scenes differently. But if I were Graham Potter, I would find it very hard to believe that they would do things differently. They just got rid of the six-game manager of the season.
“It’s a huge step in his coaching career and Chelsea is still one of the big clubs. They’re still world champions at the moment, but you fear for Graham Potter that he’ll be in the same boat as every other Chelsea coach. For the last 10 years – unless he gets instant results, they’re going to get on another new manager for themselves in 12 months.”
Inside Tuchel’s last day at Chelsea
Tuchel emptied his office on Wednesday after the short 9:30 a.m. meeting where he was fired and stayed on the training ground with his departing coaching staff to bid them farewell.
The German manager, who joined the club in January 2021, wants to take a break before returning to football.
Tuchel is still highly regarded by many people at Chelsea for the awards and the leadership he has shown during very difficult circumstances. At Chelsea, the coronavirus pandemic and the end of the Roman Abramovich era were difficult scenarios – the latter leading to club penalties, non-payment of staff salaries and fear of a club going out of business.
Tuchel has also shown leadership during the takeover saga, while several major characters such as Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech have announced their departures.
Clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona were interested in Tuchel last season but he has always been loyal to Chelsea.
Although Chelsea ended up spending a record £278m this summer, there are differences of opinion between co-owners and Tuchel over some goals and strategies.
For example, the owners were open to the idea of signing Cristiano Ronaldo from United but he was not wanted by Tuchel.
Meanwhile, Chelsea owners Bohli and Bagdad Ighbali met the Chelsea players and staff on Wednesday afternoon at Cobham.
They explained what happened with Tuchel and their vision for the club’s future. Bohli and Ighbali were also in the game in Zagreb on Tuesday.
September 10: Fulham (A) – Departure at 12.30 pm
September 14: Red Bull Salzburg (H) – The match starts at 8 pm
September 18: Liverpool (H) – The match starts at 4:30 pm
October 1st: Crystal Palace (a) The match starts at 3:00 pm
October 5: AC Milan (H) – The match starts at 8 pm