Behdad Eghbali's role in Mauricio Pochettino exit and why he got so close to first team matters

Behdad Eghbali
Behdad Eghbali -Credit:Glyn Kirk/IKImages/AFP/Getty Images

Behdad Eghbali is set to have a highly significant role in Chelsea's search for a new head coach to replace Mauricio Pochettino.

Pochettino's time as Blues boss ended on Tuesday with the club releasing a statement in the evening confirming the 52-year-old had left Stamford Bridge by mutual consent. Chelsea are now considering their options carefully to replace Pochettino with the likes of Sebastian Hoeness, Kieran McKenna and Enzo Maresca being people they admire.

Chelsea's sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, whose main focus is transfer-related business, will help the club in their search for a replacement and Eghbali is expected to play a key role in proceedings, too.

The businessman co-founded Clearlake Capital alongside Jose E. Feliciano back in 2006. Clearlake are the consortium that took over Chelsea alongside Todd Boehly in 2022.

Born in Iran, Eghbali was brought up in the United States, moving with his family when he was just a child. Now said to be worth over $3.5billion (£2.75billion), Eghbali ranks 835th in the Forbes rich list.

While Boehly is very much the face of Chelsea when people think of who owns the club, Eghbali also plays a very significant role in how the club is run. The Clearlake co-founder is often at Stamford Bridge during the season, a lot more than Boehly is, and has been seen by going into the dressing room on numerous occasions post-match.

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There are reports that Eghbali wanted Pochettino gone, while Boehly was happy for the Argentine to remain in his position. Boehly has recently been quoted talking up some of the progress Pochettino made with the young Chelsea squad towards the end of the season - where the Blues went on a five-match winning run to end the campaign.

Chelsea held an end-of-season review with Pochettino just hours after the Blues' final game of the season on Sunday afternoon. The talks concluded on Tuesday with the club releasing a statement later in the evening. understands Stewart, Winstanley and Eghbali were the main Chelsea representatives in attendance at the meeting that ended with Pochettino leaving the club. It is thought that Chelsea want a young coach with a significant focus being on their style of play, with Hoeness one of the names being looked at right now.

The VfB Stuttgart boss led the German side to a runners-up spot in Bundesliga in the recently-concluded 2023/24 season, only to be pipped by Xabi Alonso's invincible Bayer Leverkusen team. has learned that there are numerous figures high up at Chelsea that are huge admirers of the way Hoeness has got his Stuttgart team to play, with a key focus on counter-pressing, with his style being likened to that of Hansi Flick.

However, there are rumours that Hoeness effectively turned down a move to Bayern Munich this summer with the German giants still looking to replace the departed Thomas Tuchel. So for Chelsea, it may be difficult to persuade Hoeness, especially given their previous dealings with some talented managers.