Next Chelsea manager: Brighton agree compensation for Roberto De Zerbi after Pochettino exit

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi
Roberto De Zerbi is favourite to replace Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea -Credit:BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Chelsea are once again left hunting for a new coach after Mauricio Pochettino mutually agreed to leave the club after just one season. The Blues confirmed his exit on Tuesday night following a two-day end-of-season review. understands that club chiefs held a meeting with Pochettino on Monday before he agreed to leave the club by mutual consent on Tuesday morning.

"Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and Sporting Directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club's history," Pochettino said after his exit was confirmed. "The Club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come."

The appointment of another head coach means Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital will have their fifth manager at the club since their takeover in May 2022 - Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, Frank Lampard and Pochettino.

Roberto De Zerbi, who recently departed Brighton, has emerged as the bookmakers' favourite to replace Pochettino. The Italian has been linked with the job in the past and has been tipped to become the new boss at Bayern Munich and AC Milan.

Earlier in the day, before Pochettino's exit, Italian journalist Luca Cerchione reported that an 'unnamed club' had paid Brighton a compensation fee of £4.3m to appoint De Zerbi.

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The interesting part of the report is that 'maximum confidentiality' was agreed upon to ensure that it was kept quiet about which club had supposedly paid the compensation. However, with the news of Pochettino's exit, it has led many to suspect the unknown club could be Chelsea.