Chelsea have finally reached a full agreement with Mauricio Pochettino to become their new head coach and the deal should be finalised imminently, according to reports.
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The Argentine has long been the frontrunner for the job but negotiations have dragged out over several weeks, with Pochettino believed to have been keen on securing a greater say in transfers and other areas of the club.
But now The Athletic are reporting that terms have at last been agreed and the 51-year-old will bring his full backroom team with him to Stamford Bridge.
Long-serving assistants Jesus Perez and Miguel D’Agostino, as well as goalkeeper coach Toni Jimenez and sport scientist son Sebastiano Pochettino, will all make the move to west London.
That quintet have been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in July last year and also worked together at Chelsea’s London rivals Tottenham.
Pochettino’s move will be particularly galling to Spurs fans, with many having hoped the Argentine – who guided them to the Champions League final in 2019 – might return to the club.
But managerless Tottenham never made contact with their former coach, who would have considered returning, and he will now take charge at Stamford Bridge instead.
An official announcement is expected to come at the start of next week, with Pochettino taking over the reins in the summer.
Caretaker boss Frank Lampard will see out the remainder of the season, though there is a possibility that Pochettino will be in the stands to watch Chelsea play before the campaign reaches its conclusion.
Erik ten Hag did something similar before taking over at Manchester United, watching them play at Selhurst Park, and Chelsea’s final match of the season – at home to Newcastle – could be a prime time to cast an eye over the squad he will inherit.
Chelsea need to offload a number of players this summer and have a heavily bloated squad, though Pochettino will be given the chance to offer his opinion on every possible exit before any decision is made.
The Blues are unlikely to have a big budget to spend this summer after forking out around £600million already in the last year under their new owners.
Pochettino will be tasked with getting more out of the players who have underperformed to such an extreme extent this season as well as developing the club’s young, up-and-coming talents – something he has a track record of doing dating back to his time in charge of Espanyol.
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