Sources: Pochettino leaves Chelsea after 1 season

Mauricio Pochettino has left Chelsea by mutual consent after just one season in charge, the club confirmed in a statement Tuesday.

Sources told ESPN that Pochettino, 52, departed following talks in the past 48 hours with co-owner Behdad Eghbali and co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart.

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Pochettino, who also publicly confirmed he had dinner with co-owner Todd Boehly on Friday, guided Chelsea to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League, the Carabao Cup final and the FA Cup semifinals during his solitary campaign.

Sources insisted that although Pochettino had a year remaining on his contract, the decision was amicable on both sides.

Stewart and Winstanley said in a club statement: “On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season. He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching career.”

Pochettino said: “Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and sporting directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club’s history. The club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come.”

Pochettino’s coaching staff — Jesus Perez, Miguel d’Agostino, Toni Jimenez and Sebastiano Pochettino — have all also left the club.

Sources told ESPN that there has been a split for some time within the Chelsea hierarchy over whether to persist with Pochettino after a disappointing campaign in which they were languishing in midtable despite spending £1 billion ($1.27 billion) on new players since the Boehly-Clearlake Capital takeover of May 2022.

Sources told ESPN that Boehly was keen on retaining Pochettino but Eghbali wanted to replace him with a new coach.

Pochettino’s frustration at the ongoing uncertainty over his future had spilled into his recent news conferences, insisting it “would not be the end of the world” if he left Chelsea.

Sources told ESPN that the players held a gathering with families at the stadium in the hours after Sunday’s final-day win over Bournemouth and nobody there was told that Pochettino would be leaving.

Tuesday’s decision comes after the club held an end of season review. The Blues ended their campaign with five consecutive wins and just one league defeat from 15 matches but frustrations on both sides had already been well established.

Sources said Chelsea expected quicker progress under Pochettino given the significant investment on players while the Argentine had concerns about the day-to-day running of the club and the lack of clarity over forward planning.

It is unclear at this stage whom Chelsea will target as Pochettino’s replacement. Sources told ESPN that the club will likely seek a younger profile of coach, with Kieran McKenna, who has guided Ipswich Town back to the Premier League for the first time in 22 years after back-to-back promotions, one name widely linked.

Roberto De Zerbi is a free agent after leaving Brighton, while Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim has previously attracted interest from several Premier League clubs including West Ham. Sources told ESPN that Amorim, 39, is admired at Stamford Bridge.

Sporting CP president Frederico Varandas insisted this week that Amorim would remain with the Portuguese club next season.

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