Graham Potter to travel for Chelsea talks as Brighton grant permission for £16million deal
Graham Potter could be announced as Chelsea’s new manager as early as Wednesday evening, with the Todd Boehly willing to pay Brighton’s £16million release clause
Graham Potter is set to travel to Stamford Bridge to discuss becoming the new Chelsea manager and succeed Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked on wednesday morning.
The Brighton boss is believed to be Chelsea chair Todd Boehly’s primary target after a stunning start to the term, guiding the Seagulls to fourth in the Premier league with four wins from six games – including a 2-1 triumph against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Brighton have granted Chelsea permission to talk to Potter after the Blues agreed to meet their whopping £16million compensation fee. The situation is expected to move quickly and there’s a chance the Englishman could be appointed before the end of Wednesday.
Tuchel was fired by Chelsea on Wednesday morning after their 1-0 defeat to Champions League rivals Dinamo Zagreb the previous evening. The German enjoyed a successful 20-month spell at Stamford Bridge, winning three trophies – including the European Cup.
Chelsea were the biggest spenders in Europe during the last transfer window, investing more than £200m in their squad. They’ve endured a tough start to their Premier League campaign, sitting two places and three points behind Potter’s Brighton in sixth.
A statement from the Blues read: “Chelsea Football Club has today parted company with Head Coach Thomas Tuchel. On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the club.
“Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here. As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.
“Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach. There will be no further comment until a new head coach appointment is made.”
Reacting to Tuchel’s exit, Chelsea legend Pat Nevin told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It is a surprise but not a complete shock. We liked Tuchel, as a person and as a manager – they have been poor away from home so far this season.
“Whether or not that’s because Tuchel hasn’t been able to get the best out of them or if Boehly and the new owners wanted to get their own man in anyway, I’m not sure. They have changed a lot in 100 days after all.”
Jamie Carragher and Gary Lineker have compared Chelsea’s owners to ex-chief Roman Abramovich, who was ruthless when it came to sacking managers. “Tuchel has done a great job at Chelsea and another club will now get a top manager,” tweeted Carragher. “Roman is still pulling the strings!”
Lineker added: “Chelsea have fired Thomas Tuchel. Didn’t take long for the new owner to follow his predecessor’s policy of getting rid at the first real dip in form.”