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Report: Chelsea to hire Pochettino as manager


Mauricio Pochettino agreed to become Chelsea's new manager Saturday, sources told The Athletic's David Ornstein.

Pochettino is expected to sign a long-term deal with the Blues in the coming days, according to football insider Fabrizio Romano.

The Argentine is set to become Chelsea's fourth manager since Todd Boehly's consortium completed a £4.25-billion takeover of the west London side last year.

Boehly fired Thomas Tuchel barely a month into the season before appointing Graham Potter on a long-term deal. Potter paid the price himself in April following a poor run of form that torpedoed Chelsea's chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

Frank Lampard, who's seeing out the season in an interim capacity, will reportedly assist Pochettino with the transition. The former midfielder has won just one of the eight games he's coached since returning to the touchline.

Pochettino has already held talks with Chelsea over potential summer signings, according to The Independent's Miguel Delaney. World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, West Ham United captain Declan Rice, Brighton & Hove Albion's in-demand Alexis Mac Allister, and Tottenham Hotspur sharpshooter Harry Kane have reportedly been discussed as options.

Pochettino is also expected to hold talks with Romelu Lukaku, who's currently on loan at Inter Milan and finishing the season strong after missing chunks of it through injury.

Chelsea spoke with a number of candidates - including recently fired Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann, Spanish coach Luis Enrique, Celtic's Ange Postecoglou, and Sporting CP's 38-year-old tactician Ruben Amorim - before agreeing to a deal with Pochettino.

Paris Saint-Germain sacked Pochettino last July despite winning Ligue 1. His year and a half in charge was widely viewed as a failure given the enormous potential of PSG's squad and the addition of Lionel Messi midway through his tenure. Pochettino finished with 55 wins, 15 draws, and 14 losses as manager of Les Parisiens.

His best years in management came with Chelsea's north London neighbors Tottenham. Though he couldn't bring an end to the club's decades-long trophy drought before his eventual dismissal in November 2019, the 51-year-old made Spurs competitive on a limited budget. He steered Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019 - which they lost to Liverpool - and helped launch Kane and Heung-Min Son's stellar careers during his five years in charge.

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