Chelsea agree terms with Pochettino to be new boss – sources

Chelsea have agreed terms with Mauricio Pochettino to become the club’s new coach, sources told ESPN.

A contract is yet to be signed but that is now considered a formality with an official announcement expected in the coming days.

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Caretaker boss Frank Lampard is set to remain in charge with Pochettino taking over at the end of the season.

Pochettino’s backroom staff is expected to include his long-time assistant, Jesus Perez, plus first-team coach Miguel D’Agostino, goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez and his sports scientist son, Sebastiano.

Although Pochettino, 51, will not formally begin work for several weeks, he is expected to discuss summer transfer targets with co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali ahead of what is likely to be a busy window at Stamford Bridge.

The club need to offload multiple players given there are 31 members of the first-team squad excluding those set to return to London from loan spells.

Sources have told ESPN that Pochettino will be involved in identifying players deemed surplus to requirements.

Pochettino has been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain last year. He was heavily linked with a return to his former club Tottenham after they sacked Antonio Conte but sources have told ESPN he was never officially approached for the role.

Instead, Chelsea put Pochettino on an initial short list of five-to-seven names and gradually narrowed down the field after conducting a series of talks with various candidates including Luis Enrique and Julian Nagelsmann.

Nagelsmann withdrew from the running after becoming frustrated at the pace of the process, but Chelsea were determined to follow a methodical approach, having sacked Thomas Tuchel and appointed Graham Potter across two days in September, only to sack Potter less than seven months later.

Pochettino managed at Espanyol and Southampton before 5½ productive years at Spurs during which he guided the club to a top-four finish in four consecutive seasons and the 2019 Champions League final.

However, his first trophy came at PSG, where he won the Coupe de France in May 2021 before winning the Ligue 1 title in the subsequent campaign.

Pochettino faces a difficult task in restoring Chelsea’s fortunes given the club have spent around £600 million since Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed their takeover last May only to sack two managers on the way to a probable finish in the bottom half of the Premier League.

They sit in 11th place with three games to play after Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest.