Leicester close to appointing Graham Potter as manager to replace Enzo Maresca

<span>The former <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Chelsea;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Chelsea</a> manager Graham Potter is understood to be ready for a return to management.</span><span>Photograph: Adam Davy/PA</span>

Leicester are close to reaching an agreement for Graham Potter to replace Enzo Maresca as their new manager.

Potter, who has been out of work since being fired by Chelsea in April 2023, has held positive talks with the East Midlands club and is increasingly likely to join them. Leicester, who made an instant return to the Premier League after winning the Championship last season, have a vacancy to fill after giving Maresca permission to move to Chelsea as Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement.

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Potter is the preferred choice and he is understood to be ready for a return to management. The 49-year-old has turned down several roles since leaving Chelsea. Potter, who was targeted by Ajax this year, has been waiting for the right opportunity.

There is an element of the unknown to moving to Leicester given that they have financial issues and could be hit with a points deduction for breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.

Leicester, who have also considered Steve Cooper and West Brom’s Carlos Corberán, could be forced to sell players before the start of the new campaign and it is unclear if they will have a big transfer budget.

But they have been pushing to convince Potter, who has been looking for a similar working environment to the one he enjoyed at Brighton. He is understood to feel that he will be supported by the Leicester hierarchy.

Potter did an excellent job after joining Brighton from Swansea in 2019. He led Brighton to ninth place in the Premier League in 2022 and was convinced to take over at Chelsea after their new owners sacked Thomas Tuchel later that year.

Yet Potter struggled to adapt to life at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea were in transition after being bought by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, who lost faith with Potter less than seven months after hiring him.

Potter, who has been suggested as a potential England manager if Gareth Southgate departs after Euro 2024, had taken Chelsea into the last eight of the Champions League.