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Chelsea consider up to seven managers to replace Potter

Chelsea are considering between five and seven different managers to replace Graham Potter as head coach, although Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is not in the running, sources have told ESPN.

Potter was sacked on Sunday after less than seven months in charge as the first managerial appointment of the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital era ended in failure with Chelsea languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League.

Sources have told ESPN that Julian Nagelsmann is on the shortlist, while the club are expected to sound out Mauricio Pochettino and Luis Enrique over the role. Not all individuals identified as possible candidates have been approached at this stage.

As of Tuesday morning, a source close to Pochettino confirmed to ESPN that neither Tottenham, which sacked Antonio Conte last month, nor Chelsea had made formal contact.

Pochettino is open to managing again in England, but the former Spurs boss has also been linked with the Real Madrid job should the LaLiga giants part company with Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the season.

There had also been speculation that De Zerbi was a possible candidate for Chelsea, given his success since replacing Potter at Brighton, but sources close to Chelsea have confirmed he is not of interest.

Sources have told ESPN that no appointment is imminent with Chelsea set to adopt a different approach in hiring Potter’s successor, with the search set to be led by sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart.

Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali appointed Potter within a day of dispatching previous head coach Thomas Tuchel last September.

Although the pair spoke to multiple candidates, Boehly and Eghbali had identified Potter as their preferred selection from the outset and moved quickly to land him, paying around £21 million in compensation to release him from his contract with Brighton.

Sources told ESPN that the pair will this time take a step back from the process with Winstanley and Stewart taking charge.

Winstanley and Stewart informed Potter of the decision to part company in face-to-face talks on Sunday afternoon in a move which had the unanimous backing of the board after a record of 11 defeats in 31 matches.

Although there was hope Potter could fix the situation, senior figures at the club concluded that insufficient progress was being made given the £550m spent on transfers since Boehly and Clearlake completed their £2.5 billion takeover in May.

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