After surprising everyone by firing Thomas Tuchel just seven games into the season, Brighton and Hove Albion’s Graham Potter is the betting favorite to take over at Chelsea.
Brittish media outlets indicate that on Wednesday, Potter, a former coach for Swansea City and Ostersunds, spoke with the upper management at Chelsea FC after receiving clearance to do so from Brighton.
Brighton is currently in fourth place in the early Premier League table thanks in large part to Potter, who has been widely regarded as a potential future manager of England thanks to his team’s attractive playing style.
According to rumors, the Englishman could be ready to play in Chelsea’s derby against Fulham this coming Saturday.
Despite leading Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2021 and dealing with the fallout from the turbulent end of former owner Roman Abramovich’s reign, German coach Tuchel was fired on Wednesday.
It is believed that the decision was made before Chelsea’s shocking 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League group stage opening on Tuesday, but the club, which was purchased by a consortium led by Todd Boehly in late May, has defended the decision’s timing.
Following “100 days since the new ownership group took over the club and its continued hard work to push the club forward,” Chelsea said in a statement, “the new owners think it is the correct moment to make this change.”
Boehly has taken a page out of Abramovich’s playbook by swiftly replacing management following a decline in results with the refrain, “Everything is missing.”
After Tuchel’s tenure ended, Chelsea was three points out of a playoff spot and sixth in the Premier League after six games.
The ex-PSG manager struck a disgruntled figure after Tuesday’s humiliating loss to Dinamo, when he stated “everything is lacking.” He was in command at Stamford Bridge for less than 20 months.
There were rumors that Tuchel’s relationships with the team’s players had deteriorated and that he had a disagreement with the club’s owners when he refused to approve a transfer for Manchester United’s veteran star, Cristiano Ronaldo.
After taking over for Frank Lampard in January 2021, Tuchel quickly injected a newfound sense of determination and resolve into the struggling team.
After four months, the 49-year-old led Chelsea to a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in Porto for the club’s second Champions League title.
A couple of contract extensions later, his employment was extended for another two years. Chelsea, though, encountered some rough seas both on and off the field of play in the previous campaign.
Abramovich stated he was selling the club in March, soon before he was targeted with UK penalties, with the government identifying him as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
Despite the off-field distractions, Tuchel coached Chelsea to the League Cup and FA Cup finals, losing both on penalties to Liverpool, won the Club World Cup and ended third in the Premier League.
Boehly’s consortium paid a world-record amount of £4.25 billion ($4.9 billion) for a sports franchise to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.
The new owners reportedly spent over £250 million on players including Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the most recent transfer window, showing their confidence in Tuchel.
Heavy expenditure has not paid off so far, as they have suffered crushing defeats against Leeds and Southampton before getting off to a terrible start in the Champions League in Zagreb.