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Kieran McKenna has hinted at Chelsea playing style amid Mauricio Pochettino replacement rumours

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna
-Credit: (Image: Dave Howarth - CameraSport)


Kieran McKenna remains one of the favourites to take the vacant Chelsea head coach job.

Earlier in the week, the club confirmed in a statement that Mauricio Pochettino has left his role by mutual consent. The Argentine sat down with Behdad Eghbali, Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart for the end-of-season review and it was decided, mutually, that the 52-year-old would leave Stamford Bridge after just one campaign with the club.

Chelsea are now considering multiple candidates as the Blues look to appoint someone as soon as possible. McKenna is on the club's shortlist, alongside Enzo Maresca and Thomas Frank, football.london understands, with interest in VfB Stuttgart boss Sebastian Hoeness cooling recently.

McKenna, however, is a manager very much in demand right now, with Manchester United and Brighton also showing a keen interest in the Ipswich Town boss. United are expected to sack Erik ten Hag in the near future despite the Dutchman leading the Manchester-based club to FA Cup success on Saturday afternoon. Brighton, meanwhile, have recently parted company with Roberto De Zerbi and are looking at candidates to replace the Italian.

While nothing has been decided as of yet by the Chelsea hierarchy in terms of appointing a new head coach, McKenna is one of the preferred candidates for his style of football and attacking approach. In an interview with the Telegraph in September of last year, McKenna tried to explain his approach in the simplest way.

"My principles are really, really strong and I don’t think I will ever go away from them," McKenna said. "I believe in trying to play football a certain way. It’s not just about playing out from the back or pressing high. I want my team to be excellent in all aspects.

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"We take a lot of time going through the details that might seem minute but over the course of time will add up to making us a much better team. I am steadfast in my principles. I will always want my team to be pro-active to try and dominate games."

McKenna managed to implement his style to the Ipswich players and achieve back-to-back promotions in the process - an incredible feat at any level, let alone two really tough and competitive divisions in League One and the Championship. Chelsea have contacted Ipswich recently to express their interest in McKenna, football.london understands, and are thought to have been in dialogue with the 38-year-old and his representatives as well.

The Tractor Boys, though, are desperate for McKenna to remain at Portman Road to lead them in their first season back in the top-flight in 22 years. With such interest in his signature, however, McKenna could be swayed in the coming weeks.