Chelsea appoint Enzo Maresca as new head coach

Chelsea have confirmed the appointment of Enzo Maresca as their new head coach on a five-year contract.

Maresca, 44, will start work on July 1. His deal ties him to Stamford Bridge until 2029, with the club holding an option to extend by a further year.

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Maresca leaves Leicester City after just one season in charge, during which he guided the Midlands club to the Championship title with 97 points.

The Italian was previously part of Pep Guardiola’s backroom staff as Manchester City won a treble in the 2022-23 campaign.

Sources have told ESPN that Maresca has been on holiday in Marbella, Spain, where a Chelsea delegation flew out to conduct negotiations.

“To join Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any coach,” Maresca said. “It is why I am so excited by this opportunity.

“I look forward to working with a very talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club’s tradition of success and makes our fans proud.”

Sources have told ESPN that Leicester will receive around £10 million ($12.8m) in compensation as a result of Maresca’s departure.

He will be joined by a six-man coaching team comprising former Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero, Danny Walker, Michele De Bernardin, Marcos Alvarez, Javi Molina and Roberto Vitiello.

Chelsea confirmed that Ben Roberts will also join Maresca’s staff as head of global goalkeeping.

The club’s co-sporting directors, Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, said: “We are delighted to welcome Enzo to Chelsea. He has proven himself to be an excellent coach capable of delivering impressive results with an exciting and identifiable style.

“Enzo has deeply impressed us in our discussions leading up to his appointment. His ambitions and work ethic align with those of the club. We thoroughly look forward to working with him.”

Maresca succeeds Mauricio Pochettino, who parted company with the club last month despite having a year remaining on his contract.

Sources have told ESPN the decision was amicable but there were disagreements between Pochettino and the Chelsea hierarchy over the club’s direction after a mixed campaign in which they finished sixth in the Premier League and reached the Carabao Cup Final.

Manchester United‘s FA Cup win over City meant Chelsea will play in the Europa Conference League next season rather than the Europa League.

Chelsea’s ownership group said: “We are thrilled to welcome Enzo into the Chelsea family. We look forward to supporting him and the rest of the sporting team in fulfilling their potential and our expectations over the years to come.

“He is a highly gifted coach and leader that we are confident can help fulfill our vision and competitive goals for the club.”

Maresca has previously worked as an assistant coach at Ascoli, Sevilla and West Ham before taking charge of Parma in between spells at Man City.

As a player, he won Serie A with Juventus in 2001-02 and his other honours include back-to-back UEFA Cup wins with Sevilla in 2006 and 2007.

Meanwhile, a source has told ESPN that Chelsea are set to complete the signing of defender Tosin Adarabioyo.

The 26-year-old will move to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer after leaving Fulham at the end of the season.

Chelsea have staved off competition from Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham to secure his signature.

Adarabioyo, who started his career at Manchester City, made 20 Premier League appearances for Fulham last season.