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Chelsea consider Roberto De Zerbi as manager search heats up

Chelsea are keeping their options open in their search for a new manager and former Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi has not been ruled out, per The Telegraph.

The Blues are currently evaluating Enzo Maresca, Kieran McKenna and Thomas Frank as potential successors to Mauricio Pochettino. 

While the trio have been confirmed as the main candidates, De Zerbi is also under consideration.

He is a free agent after leaving Brighton by mutual consent and is potentially a cheaper option.

Maresca’s reported release clause is around £10 million, double that of McKenna, while Frank’s buyout increased to over £3m with his recent contract extension.

However, his reported difficulty working within a club structure might be a concern for Chelsea, with sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart keen on a manager who will fall in line.

De Zerbi’s exciting brand of possession-based football aligns with Chelsea’s philosophy.

He successfully guided Brighton to Europe in his first season and managed an 11th-place finish this year despite losing the core of his team.

The race for the Chelsea hot seat remains wide open, with no clear favourite at this point. The club is expected to intensify discussions with candidates this weekend.

All three confirmed contenders have their own connections within Chelsea. Chelsea recruitment chief Joe Shields previously worked with Maresca at Manchester City

McKenna has been under Chelsea’s radar for some time, while Frank’s set-piece specialist Bernardo Cueva is already joining the Blues.

De Zerbi also has some familiar faces at Stamford Bridge. He managed Mykhailo Mudryk at Shakhtar Donetsk and Moises Caicedo at Brighton.

McKenna is also a target for Brighton and could be considered by Manchester United alongside Frank as a potential replacement for Erik ten Hag.

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