Chelsea: Brighton boss Graham Potter verbally agrees deal to succeed Thomas Tuchel as new Blues manager

·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Graham Potter is set to be appointed as Chelsea’s new head coach following further talks this morning in which he verbally agreed to take over at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have moved quickly to appoint Brighton manager Potter after sacking Thomas Tuchel yesterday.

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Potter held positive talks with co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali in London yesterday, after being granted permission to do so by Brighton.

More discussions were held today, and Chelsea want the 47-year-old to lead a long-term project at the club like Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have done at Manchester City and Liverpool.

Potter impressed Boehly and Eghbali with his vision for the club, as the owners seek to create a new culture at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are willing to pay a £15million release clause in his Brighton contract and hope Potter will be in place to take charge of the team at Fulham in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday.

Graham Potter has verbally agreed a deal to become the new Chelsea manager (PA)
Graham Potter has verbally agreed a deal to become the new Chelsea manager (PA)

Potter this morning cancelled his scheduled Brighton press conference and he is expected to be appointed by Chelsea before the weekend.

After Potter verbally agreed to take over, Chelsea set about finalising the finer details of deal, including the make-up of his backroom staff, as they move swiftly to appoint him.

Chelsea are thought to have considered other contenders for the role, including Sporting Lisbon manager Ruben Amorim and former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino. But the new Chelsea owners quickly identified Potter as the man to lead the new era at Stamford Bridge.

During his talks with Boehly and Eghbali, Potter asked for three members of his Brighton backroom team to join him at Chelsea.

He laid out his plans for the future, which include the appointment of transfer guru Kyle Macaulay and his two trusted assistants, Billy Reid and Bjorn Hamberg, joining him.

Potter will be tasked with getting Chelsea back on track after a poor start to the season and ensuring they finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League. The Blues sit sixth in the Premier League, with 10 points from six games.

Tuchel was sacked yesterday following Tuesday night’s 1-0 Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb.

The move for Potter comes a week after the closure of the transfer window, during which the new Chelsea owners spent almost £300m.

Should he be appointed before the weekend, Potter will not have long to prepare the team for the early kick-off at Craven Cottage.

Tuchel’s former coach Anthony Barry led training yesterday and was supported by both loan manager Andy Myers and development squad head coach Mark Robinson, with academy director Neil Bath overseeing the session.

Chelsea have moved for Potter after being impressed by the job he has done in transforming Brighton’s playing style in their move up the Premier League.

The Seagulls are fourth, after an impressive start to the season in which they have beaten Manchester United and won 2-0 at West Ham.

They thrashed Leicester 5-2 on Sunday and Chelsea have been impressed by the ex-Swansea and Ostersunds coach’s record of improving young players.

Tuchel was sacked by Chelsea just 16 months after leading them to their second Champions League triumph.

Potter was at the Brighton training ground this morning to say his goodbyes before he was expected to travel to London to formally complete his move to Stamford Bridge.