Graham Potter’s impending managerial move to Chelsea is reportedly ‘into its final stages’ with Todd Boehly having acted swiftly to replace Thomas Tuchel. The Blues’ American owner only dismissed the German on Wednesday morning, but an agreement is expected to be in place with his replacement in Brighton’s Potter over the coming hours.
Tuchel was sacked a matter of hours after managing his 100th game for the club – a shock 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in Chelsea’s opening match of this season’s Champions League group stage. The decision to dismiss the former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss was thought to have already been made prior to the loss, however.
The defeat was the Blues’ third in seven matches while tensions appeared to be fraught between Tuchel and new owner Boehly following a summer of struggles in the transfer market. Chelsea spent a world-record £273million over the summer, however a number of those deals were agreed late in the window, various key targets were missed out on and the squad remains unbalanced.
Boehly has since moved fast to appoint Tuchel’s replacement following his sudden firing, having immediately approached Brighton over their aspiring manager Potter. And now it seems the Blues could well confirm a new man at the helm imminently.
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According to Fabrizio Romano, talks between Potter and Chelsea are entering into ‘the final stages’ and an agreement is expected to be completed over the coming hours. Brighton’s pre-match press conference scheduled to take place ahead of their weekend clash with Bournemouth is understood to have been cancelled given Potter is nearing a switch to Stamford Bridge.
Boehly is thought to have considered Potter’s release clause, reportedly in the region of £16m, as no obstacle in capturing the 47-year-old. Potter has previous experience of managing Swansea City and Swedish outfit Ostersunds.
Confirming Tuchel’s dismissal on Wednesday, a Chelsea club statement read: “On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the club. Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.
“As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition. Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach.”