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Todd Boehly has already informed new Chelsea manager one of his priorities

Todd Boehly
-Credit: (Image: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg)


The search for Chelsea's new head coach continues but we now know the four-man shortlist decided by the club.

The Blues are looking to appoint Mauricio Pochettino's successor after the Argentine left the club less than a week ago. Roberto De Zerbi, Enzo Maresca, Kieran McKenna and Thomas Frank make up the shortlist for Chelsea, football.london understands, as the club's ownership group look to appoint their third head coach in less than two years.

The likes of Maresca, McKenna and Frank have been known to the public as candidates virtually ever since Pochettino left the club. De Zerbi, though, was only revealed at the weekend with the former Brighton manager now without a job.

Whoever it is that is appointed, Chelsea want to wrap business up as soon as possible so the new head coach has time to work with his players in the club's pre-season tour of the United States that begins in July. After they get that out of the way, attention will then return to the real business in the Premier League.

Equally, the Blues face a qualifying play-off match to reach the Europa Conference League proper. Despite finishing sixth, Chelsea will have to settle for the Conference League after Manchester United upset the odds to beat Manchester City in Saturday afternoon's FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

On August 5, Chelsea will find out who they will face in the play-off match, that will be played over two legs. The first-leg of the tie is due to be on August 22, with the second-leg set to be contested seven days later on August 29.

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Should Chelsea progress through the two legs, then they will be part of the Conference League group stage draw on August 30. After being absent from any form of European football last season, Chelsea's ownership group will be desperate for the club to achieve success in the continental competition this time around.

Finishing in a European spot was a priority for the club last campaign and even though Pochettino managed to achieve that following the team's outstanding end-of-season form, the Argentine was let go a matter of hours after the final game against Bournemouth. Chelsea qualifying for the Conference League proper, by getting through that play-off tie, will be a priority for the new head coach.

Out of the four candidates, there is very little experience in European football. De Zerbi, though, did manage Brighton in the Europa League last season with the Seagulls reaching the Round of 16, where they were eventually knocked out by AS Roma over two legs.

The ownership group have made it clear over their thoughts on European football and their ambition to get Chelsea back to being a consistent force. Writing in the programme ahead of the Blues' season-ending match with Bournemouth, a letter to the fans read: "We are now approaching the second anniversary since becoming custodians of this incredible club, and it remains an absolute privilege to hold that position.

"Our promise to you, our loyal supporters, was to make you proud of Chelsea. The desire to achieve that burns stronger every day.

"In order to fulfil that, we believe we need to be doing the following: Consistently winning or contending for the Premier League and WSL [Women's Super League] titles, consistently playing in the Champions League and competing for domestic cups, consistently competing for titles across the youth age groups, developing and discovering the next generation of footballing talent for the benefit of the club, being responsible actors and contributors to our community, while meeting FFP and other regulatory requirements, earning the trust and confidence of our supporters.

"Please know that everyone at the club is relentlessly focused on delivering that. On the men's side, progress can be seen in a team which has been rebuilt with careful planning.

"We have invested in highly talented players whose best years are ahead in order to build a sustainable team that competes at the very top. We have seen that quality emerge and grow, with significant contributions from our Academy players, particularly since the beginning of the year.

"While results may have fluctuated this season, the team's performance as a cohesive unit continues to improve, and Stamford Bridge is once again a venue that our rivals would rather avoid. And it is worth noting that even in this year of transition we have enjoyed two separate trips to Wembley, losing only by very fine margins. Week after week, this talented team is bonding and building chemistry, while growing accustomed to top English competition."