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Chelsea 'handed major boost in Enzo Maresca pursuit'

Chelsea 'handed major boost in Enzo Maresca pursuit'
© Reuters
Chelsea are reportedly handed a major boost in their efforts to secure the services of Leicester City head coach Enzo Maresca.

Chelsea have reportedly made another breakthrough in their efforts to appoint Leicester City's Enzo Maresca as their new head coach.

For the past six days, the Blues hierarchy have been contemplating how to replace Mauricio Pochettino, who departed his role by mutual consent.

At one stage, as many as four names appeared to be in the running for the post, but that was allegedly whittled down to three over the weekend.

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna is said to have been contacted to inform him that he would no longer be considered for the position at Stamford Bridge.

While that seemingly led Brentford's Thomas Frank and former Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi to challenge Maresca, it has since been widely reported that Maresca is their preference.

Earlier on Monday, it was suggested that Chelsea had formally approached their Leicester counterparts to request permission to speak with the Italian.

Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca reacts on March 17, 2024© Reuters

Chelsea make progress in Maresca appointment

According to Sky Sports News, Leicester have now given the green light for Chelsea to hold negotiations with the 44-year-old.

The report says that co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart are now scheduled to travel to Marbella to speak with Maresca in person.

Providing that Chelsea are prepared to meet a release clause that is said to be between £8m and £10m, Maresca's appointment is expected to be confirmed over the coming days.

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton lift the trophy with teammates after winning the Championship on May 4, 2024© Reuters

Why do Chelsea want to appoint Maresca?

Although Chelsea ended the season with five successive wins under Pochettino, it was not necessarily in the style of play Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital and the two aforementioned sporting directors preferred to see.

There is a specific desire for Chelsea to play possession-based football from next season onwards, with the belief that this is more suited to the players that are in the first-team squad.

In Leicester's Championship-title-winning campaign, the Foxes had over 62% of the ball and made over 28,000 passes during their 46 league fixtures.

Furthermore, Chelsea officials have allegedly been left impressed by the knowledge that Maresca possesses about their senior players and how he plans to use them.

Spending time under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City before his arrival at the King Power Stadium has also worked in Maresca's favour.

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Chelsea owner and chairman Todd Boehly pictured in the stands on August 27, 2022
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