Chelsea identify ‘strong candidate’ to replace Mauricio Pochettino as new manager | Football

Mauricio Pochettino’s future at Chelsea is massively up in the air (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino could be replaced by German manager Hansi Flick at the end of the season, according to new reports.

Pochettino is under big pressure at Stamford Bridge and his future is up in the air with the Chelsea hierarchy set to conduct a review into his first season in charge.

European qualification will be key to Pochettino’s hopes of surviving with the west Londoners currently sat eighth in the Premier League table with four games left.

It was reported last week that former Bayern Munich and Germany boss Flick was among three candidates to replace Pochettino as Chelsea’s new head coach.

Chelsea have also been taking a look at Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi and Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim, although the Blues have shut down claims that they have already met with the latter boss, who was linked to Liverpool and West Ham too.

More recently, Antonio Conte has been linked with a shock return to Chelsea, while Jose Mourinho has appeared to distance himself from a possible third stint.

It has now emerged that Flick has become a ‘strong candidate’ to replace Pochettino, according to reports in Germany.

Hansi Flick looks on prior to the international friendly match between Germany and Japan

Hansi Flick is out of work after being sacked as Germany head coach (Picture: Getty)

Flick is keen to manage a big-six club in the Premier League and had previously been in talks with Tottenham before his 2021-2023 spell in charge of Germany.

The 59-year-old was also strongly linked to the Chelsea job in 2021 when Frank Lampard was sacked, before the west Londoners opted for Thomas Tuchel.

Flick helped Bayern Munich win a treble in the 2019-20 campaign as the German giants won the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal.

He has also led Bayern Munich to glory in the Club World Cup and Super Cup and delivered a second Bundesliga title in 2020-21.

Flick was crowned UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year for 2019-20 as well as German Football Manager of the Year and Bundesliga Coach of the Season.

Flick struggled as manager of Germany, though, with his side crashing out of the 2022 World Cup in the group stage before he was later sacked in 2023.

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