Chelsea identify Liverpool’s perfect Klopp successor as Pochettino replacement after Wolves mauling

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 5 Feb 2024 07:50 GMT
  • 3 min read
Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea, 2023/24

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino finds himself in grave danger of the sack following a 4-2 Premier League loss against Wolves on Sunday.

The Blues have slumped into the lower half of the Premier League standings, one point behind Wolves and having lost more games than they have won this term.

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It all looked like it would be a far brighter afternoon for Chelsea when Cole Palmer opened the scoring in the early stages, yet the Blues capitulated defensively, with Matheus Cunha grabbing a hat-trick while Axel Disasi deflected a Rayan Ait Nouri shot into his own goal in a stunning loss.

Tension had been simmering over Pochettino’s position prior to the match, but the nature of the loss at home means that the Argentine is under pressure barely six months after taking the job last summer.

“We are feeling the pressure at the moment, we are not matching the history of the club, that is true,” the former Tottenham and PSG manager said.

According to French outlet Sports Zone, Chelsea are lining up Xabi Alonso, the current Bayer Leverkusen boss, as a potential replacement to Pochettino and is wanted immediately by Behdad Eghbali. Owner Todd Boehly does not want to make such a knee-jerk reaction, however.

Alsono has been anointed by many as the likely successor for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, who Chelsea will face in the League Cup final later this month.

Xabi Alonso, Alejandro Grimaldo, Bayer Leverkusen
© IMAGO - Xabi Alonso, Alejandro Grimaldo, Bayer Leverkusen

The Spaniard, meanwhile, is unlikely to wind up at Stamford Bridge given that a switch to Anfield would surely be his first choice. With Leverkusen top in the Bundesliga, he is not in a hurry to leave his current post, and indeed there has been a suggestion that he might not even take the Liverpool job this summer, so happy is he currently in Germany.

Alonso to Chelsea, therefore, looks little more than a pipedream at this stage.

Who is favourite to be Chelsea’s next manager?

Alonso is priced at 5/1 to become Chelsea’s next manager but finds himself a clutch of possibilities.

Michel Sanchez of Girona is presently the favourite to take the Stamford Bridge job at 7/5 ahead of Jose Mourinho, who is only 5/2 to make a sensational return to the club.

Barcelona boss Xavi, who will step down from his post in the summer, is 3/1 with Roberto De Zerbi of Brighton 9/2.

Brentford’s Thomas Frank is priced at 6/1, with Zinedine Zidane (9/1), Ruben Amorim (12/1) and Rob Edwards (16/1) outsiders.

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