Exclusive: Mauricio Pochettino leaves Chelsea

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Mauricio Pochettino has left Chelsea after just one season in charge (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester United co-owners INEOS’ stance on Mauricio Pochettino as he leaves Chelsea

Manchester United co-owners are believed to be ‘long-term admirers’ of Mauricio Pochettino, with the Argentinian now available after leaving Chelsea.

It was confirmed on Tuesday evening that Pochettino has left Stamford Bridge by mutual consent after crunch talks between the manager and the club’s hierarchy.

Pochettino met with co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart on both Monday and Tuesday, as well as co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali.

According to The Telegraph, there is no ‘bad blood’ between the former Tottenham boss and Chelsea’s decision-makers, but all parties felt the time was right to go their separate ways.

Mauricio Pochettino ended the Premier League season with five consecutive victories, guaranteeing that Chelsea will play in Europe next season - PA/Nick Potts

Mauricio Pochettino ended the Premier League season with five consecutive victories, guaranteeing that Chelsea will play in Europe next season – PA/Nick Potts© Provided by The Telegraph

There is not thought to be any bad blood between Pochettino and Chelsea, who will immediately start their search for a replacement with a young and progressive coach to be targeted.

Among the names likely to be considered will be Stuttgart’s Sebastian Hoeness, Girona’s Michel, Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna, who has been lined up by Brighton, and Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca.

Brentford’s Thomas Frank is another manager Chelsea will have on their list of candidates, but Vincent Kompany, the Burnley manager who made the three-man shortlist before Pochettino’s appointment, is not thought to be of interest at this time.

Pochettino had met co-controlling owner Todd Boehly for dinner last Friday night, before, on Monday and Tuesday, spending several hours with Winstanley and Stewart, and meeting with Eghbali.

Bruno Saltor managed Chelsea for one game last season, before Frank Lampard took interim charge, meaning a total of five managers have worked under Chelsea’s current owners in two years.

A run of five successive wins at the end of this season clinched European qualification for Chelsea under Pochettino, who also took the club to the final of the Carabao Cup and the semi-final of the FA Cup.

Manchester United's head coach Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag’s position appears to be under more threat now Pochettino is available (Picture: AP)

The Argentine has left with his head held high and his reputation intact. But, in the view of key figures at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s season, viewed as a whole, fell short of pre-season expectations and raised issues such as the crippling injury list.

Maurucio Pochettino

Pochettino’s stock has clearly not fallen after a tricky season at Chelsea (Picture: REUTERS)

Pochettino said: “Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and sporting directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club’s history. The club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come.”

Confirming Telegraph Sport’s exclusive, Chelsea also announced that Pochettino’s coaching staff, Jesus Perez, Miguel d’Agostino, Toni Jimenez and Sebastiano Pochettino have left the club.

Sporting directors Winstanley and Stewart said: “On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season. He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching career.”

Pochettino is in fact scheduled to make an instant return to Stamford Bridge – if he honours an invitation to coach in a charity match next month.

The 52-year-old had been pencilled in to take charge of a Soccer Aid World XI against an England select at Chelsea’s ground on Sunday June 9 to raise funds for Unicef.

His designated co-coach for the match is former Chelsea right-hand man Jesus Perez and among the players already selected for the World XI are former Stamford Bridge favourite Eden Hazard, ex-Brazil left-back Roberto Carlos and sprint legend Usain Bolt.

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