Who do you think Chelsea should go to? Of course, Chelsea, who appear to have no shortage of cash, could turn to one of the many quality managers still in the game.
Since Graham Potter was fired as Chelsea’s head coach, several big-name candidates have been shortlisted to replace him, but the club board’s primary focus has been on title-winning managers on the market looking for their next opportunity.
Guillem Balague, a European football journalist, believes Julian Nagelsmann could be in the running for the Stamford Bridge job. However, the German has also been linked with Tottenham, who have Cristian Stellini in charge until the summer following the departure of Antonio Conte.
Leicester, who fired Brendan Rodgers on Sunday, are also looking for a new manager.
So, who are the unemployed managers hoping to get a call, and what do they have to offer?
Why Julian Nagelsmann?
Nagelsmann, 35, has been fired from Bayern Munich for the first time in his seven-year managerial career.
In 2018, he turned down an offer from Real Madrid and is likely to be near the top of the list for any elite team looking for a new coach.
Nagelsmann was expected to be a top target for Tottenham, but Balague believes the Blues are a better option.
Prior to the announcement of Potter’s departure, he said on BBC Radio 5 Live:
“Julian Nagelsmann gets along well with Chelsea’s owner.
“Chelsea is looking for someone with a name, a personality, and the ability to deal with what Chelsea has. If they choose to fire Graham Potter. Nagelsmann was added.
Conte, who previously managed Chelsea from 2016 to 2018, may be looking for a new job but is unlikely to take the Chelsea job.
Conte was as close to a sure thing as you could get as a manager until his recent tenure at Tottenham, which ended after he called his players “selfish” and criticized the club’s culture.
His previous three managerial jobs, at Juventus, Chelsea, and Inter Milan, all resulted in league titles.
However, the 53-year-old probably needs a rest after recovering from gallbladder surgery.
Three of his close friends have also died in the last six months: Spurs fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone and former footballers Sinisa Mihajlovic and Gianluca Vialli.
In his three seasons as manager of Barcelona, Luis Enrique (52), won a treble and a double.
He stepped down as Spain’s manager following their World Cup exit to Morocco, and he is another early frontrunner in Chelsea betting markets.
“He claims to only read English media,” Balague explained. “He wants to play in the Premier League next, but there’s a problem.”
“There aren’t many jobs he’d take because he only wants to join a team that can win or do interesting things, and that doesn’t leave a very long list.”
Despite being the second most decorated manager in European Cup history, Zidane, 50, remains a managerial enigma.
The France legend won three Champions Leagues and two Spanish titles in just five years as Real Madrid manager, but it is unclear how he would fare at another club.
According to Balague:
“Zidane isn’t in a hurry. He must find the appropriate location to carry out his mission.
“That will either be Real Madrid again, the French national team, or Juventus if they call, but if no one calls, that’s fine.”
Pochettino, 51, was successful at Espanyol, Southampton, and Tottenham, which he led to the Champions League final, where they were defeated by Liverpool, but his only silverware came at PSG.
He has been unemployed since leaving the French team last summer.
“There’s a gap at Spurs, maybe he’s on the shortlist,” Balague said. But I know there has been a call to Pochettino, not directly from [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy, but indirectly, to see if he would be willing to take the job, and I believe the answer is yes.
“Let’s see if that’s enough to persuade Daniel Levy to bring Poch back.”
Pochettino has emerged as one of the frontrunners for the Chelsea job since Potter’s departure.
Other managers interested in Chelsea’s job are listed below;
What about one of Chelsea’s all-time greats, John Terry?
After leaving his position as Aston Villa assistant coach, the 42-year-old former captain joined Chelsea as a coaching consultant in 2022.
Since taking over for Potter at Brighton this season, Italian manager Roberto de Zerbi has piqued the interest of many.
Chelsea could also consider Brentford manager Thomas Frank, who lives just seven miles away. The Bees are level on points with Brighton thanks to the 49-year-old Dane’s promotion from the Championship.
Since taking over at Atletico Madrid in 2011, Diego Simeone has led the club to two La Liga titles and two Champions League finals.
Brendan Rodgers, who was fired by Leicester just hours before Potter’s departure, was the Blues’ reserve manager from 2006 to 2008.