Chelsea have sacked Thomas Tuchel as manager after their 1-0 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League and are expected to approach Brighton for permission to speak to Graham Potter.
Potter is understood to be Chelsea’s first choice but Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane, both of whom are out of work, are also on their shortlist.
Tuchel’s departure follows a disappointing start to the season, with the club having also been beaten by Leeds and Southampton in the Premier League, and has been on the cards after Tuchel’s relationship with the co-owner Todd Boehly unravelled during a chaotic summer transfer window. The pair had all but stopped communicating.
One example was the case of Anthony Gordon who Tuchel did not want. Boehly’s data analysts had pushed for the Everton midfielder after being impressed by some of his performance metrics. Tuchel came to feel he had too many players to accommodate and not enough he could count on.
Boehly learned that some senior players were unhappy with Tuchel’s tactics and is keen to make his own appointment. Chelsea used three formations in Zagreb, one of which included using Sterling in central midfield.
“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,” a statement said. “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.”
The sacking took place face-to-face with the owners on Wednesday morning at the Cobham training ground and Tuchel’s three coaches – Arno Michels, Zsolt Löw and Benjamin Weber – are expected to depart with him