Chelsea could target Kieran McKenna as Mauricio Pochettino leaves by mutual agreement – ​​The Irish Times

Chelsea are set to challenge Brighton for the appointment of Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna after agreeing to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino by mutual consent.

Pochettino, who led the club to sixth place after a strong finish to his only season in charge, has left after holding talks with co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley and co-owner Behdad Eghbali over two days.

The split is understood to be due to a difference of opinion between the Argentine and Chelsea over strategy. Pochettino, who was signed on a two-year contract last summer, became frustrated in his attempts to receive more power and decided it was better to end the relationship rather than risk the possibility of a major fight next season. . .

Although there was support for Pochettino at board level, it was not unanimous, and Eghbali is understood to have been lukewarm towards the former Tottenham manager.

Chelsea have tried to work in a “collaborative” way since being bought by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital two years ago and will be looking for a young, progressive manager willing to accept their way of working.

McKenna, who inspired Ipswich’s surprise promotion to the Premier League, has emerged as a leading contender. Brighton want the 38-year-old Fermanagh man to replace Roberto De Zerbi, but Chelsea have been speaking to his representatives for several weeks. Chelsea’s interest is understood to have put a damper on Brighton’s attempts to seal a deal for McKenna.

Other names under consideration include Brentford’s Thomas Frank, Girona’s Míchel and Stuttgart’s Sebastian Hoeness. Vincent Kompany has been described as a dark horse despite Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League. There are concerns that Sporting Lisbon’s Rúben Amorim does not fit the team’s tactical profile, and interest in De Zerbi has cooled.

Stewart and Winstanley said: “On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season. He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time and we wish him all the best in his future coaching career.”

Pochettino said: “Thank you to Chelsea’s ownership group and sporting directors for the opportunity to be part of the history of this football club. “The club is now well positioned to continue making progress in the Premier League and Europe in the coming years.”

Pochettino’s backroom members Jesús Pérez, Miguel d’Agostino, Toni Jiménez and Sebastiano Pochettino have also left.

This leaves Chelsea looking for their fourth permanent manager in the last two years. It seemed that Pochettino had ushered in some stability, with his young team largely behind him. Chelsea secured European football after a good end to the season.

But Chelsea were concerned about Pochettino’s tactics and one well-placed source privately described his training methods as “outdated” ahead of the end-of-season review. Pochettino was not going to be given more control over the signings. – Guardian