Chelsea sack manager Graham Potter after six months in charge


Chelsea’s season has descended into chaos after they fired Graham Potter and began looking for their third manager since being bought by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital last summer.

Julian Nagelsmann is prominent in Chelsea’s thoughts after the ruthless dismissal of Potter, who was informed of his fate at 2.45pm on Sunday, but the former Bayern Munich manager is believed to be reluctant to take the job until the summer. A full-time appointment is not imminent. Chelsea have installed Bruno Saltor, who was part of Potter’s backroom staff, as interim head coach and want to think carefully before making their next move.

Chelsea have drawn up a shortlist of candidates, including Mauricio Pochettino, and would like someone in place before pre-season. Nagelsmann is the early favourite but Luis Enrique could come under consideration. Chelsea have been linked with the Eintracht Frankfurt manager, Oliver Glasner, while Rúben Amorim is building a strong reputation at Sporting Lisbon.

However, eyebrows will be raised at the new regime’s behaviour. Much has been made of Boehly and Clearlake, which is owned by Behdad Eghbali and Jose Feliciano, trying to move away from Roman Abramovich’s sacking culture.

Yet Chelsea, who are 11th in the Premier League despite spending close to £600m on signings since last summer, have fired two managers in seven months. Potter was hired after the departure of Thomas Tuchel in September. Chelsea paid £21.5m in compensation to Brighton & Hove Albion to bring the 47-year-old and his coaching staff to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have not paid the £50m that was left on Potter’s five-year contract but he is understood to be due significant compensation. The former Brighton manager’s No 2, Billy Reid, has also been sacked. Chelsea said that Potter had “agreed to collaborate with the Club to facilitate a smooth transition”. That is understood to refer to the manager’s trusted assistants, Bruno, Bjorn Hamberg and Ben Roberts, not leaving the club. Anthony Barry is waiting to find out if he will be allowed a reunion with Tuchel at Bayern.

It had seemed that Potter had bought himself time after Chelsea reached the last eight of the Champions League by beating Borussia Dortmund last month. They play the first leg of their quarter-final away to Real Madrid next week.