Jorge Mendes offers Todd Boehly chance to appoint surprise candidate as next Chelsea manager

Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao looks during the UEFA Champions League clash with Arsenal

Super-agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly suggested Porto manager Sergio Conceicao as a potential successor to Mauricio Pochettino. Chelsea announced on Tuesday evening that they had mutually agreed to terminate Pochettino's contract, which still had one year remaining plus an option for a 12-month extension.

While the Blues have a clear vision for their next move - focusing on appointing a young head coach who is willing to work within a structure - there are several other external candidates for the role. Mendes, who has developed a close relationship with Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly after discussing a surprise deal for Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer of 2022, is now allegedly promoting Conceicao's services to Chelsea through the American billionaire.

The 49-year-old has been at the helm of Porto since 2017, bagging 10 trophies during his esteemed tenure at the Estadio do Dragao, and recently put pen to paper on a new deal that runs until the summer of 2028. However, as this agreement was struck under the watch of former Porto president Pinto da Costa, it can be nullified and he could part ways with the Portuguese heavyweights without any financial implications.

Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has stepped into Da Costa's shoes following Porto's recent presidential election and although he has publicly backed Conceicao, formal discussions about the latter's future have not yet taken place and are not anticipated until after Sunday's Taca de Portugal final against Sporting. Conceicao has been touted as a potential candidate for the AC Milan job in recent weeks while Marseille have also expressed interest in his services.

It's understood that Mendes' overtures are not impulsive and there has been a longstanding sentiment that Pochettino might bid adieu to the Blues at the end of the season, despite a significant improvement in form and a commendable end to the campaign.

Chelsea insiders have not yet confirmed whether Conceicao is a serious contender for the vacancy, with Stuttgart boss Sebastian Hoeness, Ipswich Town's Kieran McKenna and Leicester's Enzo Maresca among the names attracting the attention of sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, understands.

While the expertise, research and insight of the team are crucial, the final decision on Pochettino's successor will be made by co-owners Behdad Eghbali, Boehly and Jose E Feliciano. It's understood that Chelsea are likely to avoid a 'fiery' appointment as the Stamford Bridge bosses have strong views on the dynamics of working within their structure. They also plan to maintain significant control over transfer activity.

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Conceicao is known for his fierce competitiveness and edge. In March, he filed a legal complaint against a Spanish mayor after being accused of allegedly hitting a referee at an under-9s match involving his son. He was also involved in a touchline altercation with Thomas Tuchel after the Chelsea and Porto benches clashed during a Champions League quarterfinal in 2021.

Brentford's Thomas Frank is another name held in high regard, while despite being considered for the job last summer, Chelsea are not currently expected to hold talks with Burnley boss Vincent Kompany at this stage.