Chelsea have confirmed Graham Potter as the club’s new Head coach with the former Brighton boss signing a five-year contract.
The Blues held talks with Potter after considering him and Mauricio Pochettino as the two leading candidates football.london understands. Brighton gave permission for Potter to speak with the Blues’ ownership with a verbal agreement being reached late on Wednesday evening.
Thomas Tuchel was sacked on Wednesday morning after tensions grew between the German and co-owner Todd Boehly. After just three wins from their opening seven fixtures in all competitions, the Blues’ ownership took the decision to sack Tuchel, with Potter now set to take charge for the clash against Fulham this weekend.
Todd Boehly statement
Todd Boehly, chairman, said: “We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea. He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the Club.
“Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful Club. He has had a major impact at his previous Clubs’ and we look forward to his positive impact at Chelsea. We look forward to supporting him, his coaching team and the squad in realising their full potential in the coming months and years.”
Potter first words as Chelsea Head coach
Following the announcement, Potter said: “I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club. I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.
“I would also like to place my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for allowing me this opportunity and in particular Tony Bloom and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club.”
Chelsea confirm Potter appointment
Chelsea have confirmed the appointment of Graham Potter as their new head coach, taking over from Thomas Tuchel on a five-year contact.
Todd Boehly and the Blues’ ownership swiftly made a move for the former Brighton boss after parting ways with Tuchel on Wednesday in the aftermath of Chelsea’s defeat against Dinamo Zagreb.
Potter is set to take training for the first time on Friday ahead of the Blues’ scheduled Premier League match against Fulham, having signed on the dotted line on Thursday.
Boehly’s U-turn on Pochettino
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has done a U-turn on his initial Mauricio Pochettino stance as the main alternative to first-choice Graham Potter has been identified.
It’s very unlikely that this deal will now fall through, but it’s football, and you just never know. It was initially understood that free agent Pochettino would be the one turned to in case an alternative was required.
However, there has been no direct talks with his representatives, and instead, Boehly has U-turned on his initial contingency plan as a certain coach on the continent is more likely at this point to be appointed if Potter weren’t to be in the frame.
Sky Sports, amongst others, have reported that the new Chelsea ownership structure has held talks with Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim, known as the ‘young Mourinho,‘ as he is being seriously considered as the main back-up.
What’s next for Pochettino amid this latest blow? Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui’s position in Spain is under severe strain, and one more loss could see a change happen at the top. The Sun have reported that the current free agent has been contacted by the Andalusians as they themselves start to put plans into place.
Spotted in Brighton
On Thursday morning, news broke of a verbal agreement between Chelsea and Potter. The soon-to-be Tuchel’s successor was spotted heading back to Sussex after a busy Wednesday with face-to-face talks with Boehly and the new ownership group his utmost priority.
Once his goodbyes are done, the only thing left is the official announcement.
Verbal agreement confirmation
Graham Potter has reached a verbal agreement to become the new Chelsea head coach.
football.london understands an agreement was reached after Potter met Todd Boehly in London on Wednesday for talks over the role. No contracts have been signed just yet, but Potter is expected to become the Blues’ new manager – with the club hoping to appoint him before Saturday afternoon’s Premier League match with Fulham.
Release clause confusion
The main consensus was that Potter alone would cost £10m, based just on his own release clause.
However, that isn’t factoring in the number of staff the former Ostersunds and Swansea manager wants to bring to Stamford Bridge with him. In total, the whole operation could cost around £20m for Boehly to complete.
This been confirmed by the Mirror’s John Cross who tweeted: ‘Chelsea will have to pay £20m in compensation for Graham Potter. A relatively small sum for a transfer fee. But huge for a manager. Once again, Brighton have been smart in covering themselves. They are among the best and most shrewd operators around.’
Verbal agreement reached
According to CBS journalist Ben Jacobs, Graham Potter has verbally agreed to take over as Chelsea boss.
Formal paperwork is expected to follow soon, with Chelsea hoping to finalise the appointment before Fulham this weekend.
Jamie Carragher warning
Given the managerial merry-go-round at Stamford Bridge, Jamie Carragher says Potter should be ‘wary’ over accepting the job at Chelsea.
It is a very ruthless club, Chelsea,” Carragher told Sky Sports News.
“I’m not exactly sure he is the exact fit. Maybe Chelsea are saying they want to do things differently in the future, in terms of having a coach in charge rather than a manager.
“But if I was Graham Potter, I would find that very hard to believe in the talks with the new ownership at Chelsea, that they are going to do things differently and that he is going to be there for two or three years because they have just got rid of a manager within six games.”
Mac Allister admission
Midfielder Alexis Mac Allister has highlighted the importance of Graham Potter staying at Brighton if the Seagulls are to maintain their form.
“No,” replied Mac Allister when asked by Sky Sports News if Potter had already said his goodbyes.
“To be honest, I don’t know anything. We don’t speak about the situation. He’s really important to us, and we want him to be here for a long time.
“The first year [in the Premier League] wasn’t easy for me, and he helped me realise that maybe I wasn’t physically at the level of the Premier League,” said Mac Allister. “But he didn’t come and say ‘oh you’re not [physical enough]’ and start blaming me, he helped me every day to be a better player.
“I’m really grateful for him, and he knows how much I appreciate what he did for me.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has already admitted to being a ‘big fan’ of Graham Potter.
Guardiola said: “Brighton are a joy to watch, a joy to analyse. At the same time, when you see them, you are concerned about their quality.
“We [City] will need to be at the highest standards and level to compete against them. I’m absolutely a big fan of Graham Potter.
“Everyone plays in his positions. The ball comes to the positions, players move with freedom, and everyone knows what they have to do. They have the courage to play everywhere.”
Brighton give Potter permission
Brighton and Hove Albion have given Chelsea the green light to hold talks over Graham Potter becoming Thomas Tuchel’s successor – with the club’s new ownership group willing to pay the reported £10million release clause in Potter’s contract.
Graham Potter and Mauricio Pochettino are the two leading candidates to become the next Chelsea manager football.london understands.
Thomas Tuchel sacked
Thomas Tuchel has been sacked as Chelsea’s head coach by the club’s new ownership group. The decision comes after the Blues were beaten in their Champions League opener to Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.
The match in Croatia was Tuchel’s 100th in charge of the Blues – but it proved his last. However, it’s understood the decision to part company with the German was not a kneejerk one taken by Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali and Jose Feliciano.