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Enzo Maresca has made feelings on Liverpool clear before as Chelsea manager appointment nears

Enzo Maresca is close to being appointed as Mauricio Pochettino's successor at Chelsea after winning the Championship with Leicester City. The former Manchester City assistant has previously made his feelings on Liverpool clear, after claiming Jürgen Klopp had created one of the 'best teams in the world' when the sides met earlier in the season.

Maresca, 44, was appointed as head coach of Leicester following its relegation from the Premier League in the 2022/23 season. The Italian has since guided them back to the top flight in the first time of asking, after securing the Championship title by just one point, but the Daily Mail reports that Chelsea wants to unveil him as its new boss this week.

During the busy campaign, which saw Ipswich Town and Southampton ascend into the Premier League along with the Foxes, Maresca's side encountered Liverpool in the early stages of the Carabao Cup. The Reds would progress past Leicester in the third round but it wasn't plain sailing after Kasey McAteer opened the scoring at Anfield in the third minute.

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Liverpool quickly shifted through the gears and goals from Cody Gakpo, Dominik Szoboszlai and Diogo Jota secured a 3-1 win on the journey to glory in the competition. It was a performance that earned strong plaudits from the potential Chelsea boss after he praised the Liverpool squad in the aftermath of the result.

"They have some new players but in terms of transition and work off the ball, they have probably been the best team in the world for the last seven years," said Maresca ahead of the Carabao Cup clash at Anfield. "So now, even if they have new players, they just need time to adapt and then they will go again. Anfield will be a good environment for us."

Maresca had previously been part of Pep Guardiola's coaching staff at City on two different occasions, between 2020/2021 and 2022/23, where he had a front-row seat to witness Liverpool in action regularly. Whether or not he can replicate the successes of the Spaniard at Chelsea, remains to be seen.

Liverpool.com says: Maresca will face Liverpool again next season. However, with Arne Slot now in charge at Anfield, it will be interesting to see whether or not the Reds display the same levels of intensity that Maresca encountered in the first meeting. The Dutchman is stylistically similar to Klopp but there will be changes to how the Reds play.