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Report: Chelsea won't hire McKenna as coaching search nears conclusion

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Chelsea's coaching search is nearing its end.

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna is no longer among the small pool of contenders for the Blues' vacant position, reports David Ornstein of The Athletic. With McKenna out of the picture, the only known candidates to succeed Mauricio Pochettino are Leicester City's Enzo Maresca and Brentford tactician Thomas Frank, Ornstein adds.

McKenna, who guided Ipswich from League One up to the Premier League with consecutive promotions, was considered an early favorite to assume the Chelsea job when Pochettino and the west London side decided last week to part ways after just one season.

Despite their admiration and respect for the 38-year-old, Chelsea's co-sporting directors, Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, opted to focus on other targets.

Ownership is aligned with their process, Ornstein notes.

Chelsea stumbled early in 2023-24 but surged late to finish sixth and secure European football for next season. The club is hunting for its fourth permanent manager in two years under Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

A report last week indicated that Maresca has a "strong chance" of landing the job.

McKenna, meanwhile, has no shortage of other suitors. Brighton & Hove Albion remain interested in his services, but the rising managerial star reportedly wants to see how Erik ten Hag's situation at Manchester United unfolds before deciding his future.

McKenna spent five years coaching at various levels with United, including as a member of Jose Mourinho's first-team staff, before leaving the club in 2021.

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