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Julen Lopetegui spotted at Stamford Bridge during Chelsea loss to Aston Villa

Former Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui paid a visit to Stamford Bridge on the same day Mauricio Pochettino lost another game as Chelsea boss.

Aston Villa reaped the benefits of numerical advantage in west London as Ollie Watkins struck midway through the second half to sink the lowly Blues 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

When Todd Boehly took his total outlay as the new Chelsea owner beyond the £1 billion threshold in the summer and brought Pochettino to ignite his side’s comeback, he couldn’t have dreamt of such a disastrous start.

Heading into the game on the back of their worst five-game start to a new Premier League campaign since 2015/16, the troubled London giants crumbled again, casting doubt on the Argentine’s future in the capital.

According to Birmingham World, Lopetegui was in attendance at the Bridge – whether to enjoy the game or hold a secret discussion with Boehly over a potential takeover remains to be seen.

Despite Pochettino’s attempt to assure the Chelsea faithful of his capacity to inspire the club’s return to European contention following last season’s dismal 12th-place finish, on-field results suggest otherwise.

Another disheartening loss left the Blues marooned in the lower reaches of the Premier League, sparking speculation over Pochettino’s potential sack less than two months into the new season.

Lopetegui’s presence at the Bridge could’ve been a coincidence, but there’s a feeling that something is going on behind the smokescreen.

The Spaniard had a brief spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers last season, leading them to a 13th-place finish, just one position below Chelsea.

However, he left Molineux this summer.

With Boehly potentially considering pulling the plug on Pochettino’s regime, the 57-year-old could return to the Premier League sooner than expected.

Chelsea must stem the bleeding fast to avoid another dreadful campaign, and the Argentine could pay the price for the team’s underwhelming early showings.

Lopetegui is lurking in the shadows, waiting for Pochettino to make another mistake, which could happen next weekend when the Blues take on Fulham at Craven Cottage.

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