Chelsea set to appoint Enzo Maresca as new manager in £10m deal

Enzo Maresca
Enzo Maresca / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Chelsea have made a formal approach to Leicester City for permission to speak with their manager, Enzo Maresca, as they look to appoint him as their new head coach. The 44-year-old Italian has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Mauricio Pochettino at Stamford Bridge after impressing the Chelsea hierarchy with his success at Leicester City.

Maresca's rise to prominence has been nothing short of remarkable. The former midfielder, who enjoyed a playing career spanning over two decades, has quickly established himself as one of the most promising young managers in English football. His success at Leicester City, where he guided the Foxes to the Championship title in his first season in charge, has not gone unnoticed by the powers that be at Chelsea.

The London club's co-sporting directors, Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, have been particularly impressed by Maresca's attractive, possession-based style of football. The duo believe that the Italian's philosophy aligns perfectly with the club's long-term vision and have put forward Maresca as the outstanding candidate for the role. The club's owners are now believed to be convinced of his suitability and are eager to bring him on board.

However, securing Maresca's services will not come cheap. Chelsea will need to pay compensation to Leicester City in the region of £9-10 million to release the Italian from his contract. Despite the hefty price tag, Maresca is understood to be eager to take on the challenge at Stamford Bridge, having previously worked as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

The opportunity to work with a talented squad and the backing of the club's owners is an enticing prospect for the ambitious young manager. Maresca's association with Guardiola's style of play is also seen as a major plus point by the Chelsea hierarchy, who believe that he can bring a similar brand of exciting, attacking football to Stamford Bridge.

Of course, appointing a manager with limited experience at the highest level comes with an element of risk. However, the Chelsea hierarchy are confident that Maresca has the necessary skills and attributes to succeed in his new role. His success at Leicester City, coupled with his innovative coaching methods and ability to get the best out of his players, has convinced them that he is the right man for the job.

Looking ahead, Maresca will face a demanding season at the helm of Chelsea. The club could potentially play up to 74 competitive matches across various competitions, including the Europa Conference League, Premier League, domestic cups, and the Club World Cup. This gruelling schedule will put Maresca's ability to manage a large squad and navigate a congested fixture list to the test.

However, with a talented squad at his disposal and the backing of the club's owners, Maresca will be expected to hit the ground running and deliver success on multiple fronts. The Italian's appointment marks the start of a new era at Chelsea, and supporters will be eager to see how he fares in his new role.

There is a sense of excitement and anticipation around Stamford Bridge. The appointment of a young, dynamic manager with a proven track record of success is a bold move by the Chelsea hierarchy, but one that they believe will pay dividends in the long run.

Only time will tell if Maresca can live up to the hype and deliver the success that Chelsea crave, but one thing is for sure – the Italian has all the tools at his disposal to make a real impact at one of England's biggest clubs.