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Enzo Maresca faces first big Chelsea task as Blues suffer transfer setback

Enzo Maresca after the Sky Bet Championship match between Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers at The King Power Stadium.
-Credit: (Image: Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)


Chelsea are closing in on appointing Enzo Maresca as their new head coach as preparations for the 2024/25 season get well underway.

The Italian is leaving Leicester City to arrive at Stamford Bridge on a five-year contract, with the option of a further 12 months. He replaces Mauricio Pochettino in the hot seat after the Argentinian left by mutual consent.

While we are still awaiting official confirmation of his appointment, Maresca will already be thinking about his plans for the new season. Chelsea seem to be closing in on their first signing of the summer with Tosin Adarabioyo close to joining on a free transfer.

Amid all the noise of a new manager and the transfer window, there have been a lot of reports and talk around Chelsea over the past 24 hours. With that in mind football.london have taken a look at some of the latest and given our own perspective.

Enzo Maresca’s first task

Maresca’s first task as Chelsea head coach will be to ‘lift the mood’ of the players, according to the Guardian. The report says that a section of senior players are questioning the ‘club 's direction’ following the exit of Mauricio Pochettino.

After a disappointing opening half of the season, Chelsea went on an impressive run towards the end of the campaign, eventually finishing in sixth place and therefore qualifying for Europe. It is said that the majority of the Chelsea squad enjoyed working under Pochettino and were unhappy that the Argentinian was allowed to leave.

READ MORE: Enzo Maresca 'seals five-year Chelsea deal' with six staff members joining from Leicester City

READ MORE: Why Chelsea haven't confirmed Enzo Maresca as new manager with delay explained

The players were reported to be ‘shocked’ at the departure, with the report adding that some have grown unsettled because of the regular changes.

football.london says: Enzo Maresca probably isn’t the manager that many expected Chelsea to go for this summer, but he has proven in his short time at Leicester that he can win squads around. After their relegation to the Championship, he took on a squad with unhappy players and with no direction.

He later revealed that he had several Leicester players who originally wanted to leave making the decision to stay after working under the Italian for a few weeks. That can only be good news for Chelsea in terms of his man management.

However, every squad and situation is different, and Maresca will still have to hope that the Chelsea players are willing to be won around by his ideas after working under a manager who they liked previously.

Chelsea fall behind in Olise race

The Blues are falling behind Manchester United in the race for Crystal Palace star Michael Olise, according to ESPN . The report says that the Red Devils have identified the 22-year-old as a key target this summer and are not deterred by not being able to offer Champions League football.

Talks are not said to be at an advanced stage, meaning Chelsea could still make a move if they wish to do so. The Blues are said to have triggered Olise’s release clause last summer, but the player didn’t make the move.

football.london says: After chasing Olise for so long, it would be frustrating for Chelsea to lose out on the player. But it may be one of those situations where Chelsea have to cut their losses and move on to other targets.

At £35m the Blues would have been getting a good deal last season, but that price is likely to have gone up, meaning that it could now be a problem regarding the Premier League’s financial rules. Chelsea may now be able to get more value for money elsewhere.