Enzo Maresca to Chelsea delay explained as new talks start before manager appointment

Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca
-Credit: (Image: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea are still in talks with Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca and are yet to reach an agreement, understands. The Italian has not yet finalised a deal to become the next head coach as the Blues seek a swift resolution.

Co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley flew out to Spain to meet with Maresca face-to-face after identifying the 44-year-old as their leading candidate to replace Mauricio Pochettino. He left the club by mutual consent last week having led Chelsea to a sixth-place finish in his first season.

After days of discussions over who to pursue as the next boss, Maresca emerged as the clear favourite. Having only managed for one full season at senior level - he lasted just 14 matches at Parma in his other venture - there is excitement that he will be able to bring success to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea hope for Maresca to commit to a five-year contract with a deal hoped to be reached by the end of the week. This will allow the recruitment team and Maresca plenty of time to prepare for the new season.

Although no agreement has been reached there are not thought to be any issues. Chelsea are expected to pay Leicester a compensation package for taking Maresca whilst he is under contract at the club.

Initial contact had been made with Maresca, sounding out his interest in the role. Chelsea were than granted permission by Leicester to speak to Maresca before Winstanley and Stewart pressed on in their attempts to land a third permanent head coach in the past 15 months under their control.

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Chelsea had also considered Brentford manager Thomas Frank, former Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi, and Ipswich Town's Kieran McKenna. Maresca's impressive year with the Foxes saw him standout though having sealed promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Maresca has previously spent time as Manuel Pellegrini's assistant manager at West Ham as well as enjoying time in Spain with Sevilla. He was influential as Pep Guardiola's number two during Manchester City's treble-winning 2022/23 campaign before he left to join the Foxes.