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‘Extraordinary manager’ Enzo Maresca confirmed as new Chelsea boss on five-year deal

Chelsea have confirmed Enzo Maresca as their new manager.

The Italian leaves Leicester after guiding the Foxes to the league title and signs a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

Maresca set to become next Chelsea manager

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Maresca set to become next Chelsea managerCredit: Getty

The Blues parted ways with Mauricio Pochettino after just one season and considered a number of possible replacements before landing on the 44-year-old.

Their shortlist also included Roberto De Zerbi, Kieran McKenna and Thomas Frank, while Ipswich boss McKenna opted to sign a new deal at Portman Road.

But Maresca has always been their number one target.

Maresca said: “Joining Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any manager. That’s why I’m so excited about this opportunity.

“I look forward to working with a very talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club’s tradition of success and makes our fans proud.”

Maresca’s five-year contract carries the option of an additional year and shows great confidence, given Pochettino was only given a two-year deal.

It is understood the contract contains a number of undisclosed break clauses which favor Chelsea.

Leicester will receive around £10million in compensation after giving the Blues permission to speak to their manager.

Maresca will make a big move from Leicester to Chelsea for next season

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Maresca will make a big move from Leicester to Chelsea for next seasonCredit: Getty

His team will include former Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero, Danny Walker, Michele De Bernardin, Marcos Alvarez, Javi Molina and Roberto Vitiello.

Maresca was hired by Manchester City to become their development team manager in 2020 and has coached current Chelsea stars Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia.

He also worked alongside Chelsea’s chief scout Joe Shields, who held a similar role at the Etihad.

Maresca will replace Pochettino at Chelsea

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Maresca will replace Pochettino at ChelseaCredit: Getty

After a short spell in charge of Parma, Maresca returned to the Etihad as Guardiola’s assistant following Juanma Lillo’s departure to become manager of Al Sadd in Qatar.

Maresca has been praised for his progressive style of football and becomes the latest Guardiola-influenced manager to land a top job, with Mikel Arteta thriving at Arsenal and Vincent Kompany recently appointed by Bayern Munich.

Guardiola said in May 2021: “We are delighted with Enzo Maresca, with all the organization he has done with the EDS (elite development team), he has shown that he will become an extraordinary manager at the future. Extraordinary.

“I feel it. Like I felt it when I saw Mikel Arteta, I see it with Enzo, (he) will be an extraordinary manager and he has helped develop many, many young players.”

It is understood the Blues also wanted a head coach rather than a manager wanting to control transfers.

Maresca will be joined by five of his Leicester backroom staff, including former Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

He will also work alongside set-piece coach Bernardo Cueva, who was hired at Brentford, after Pochettino expressed his reluctance to add a set-piece coach to his dugout.

Pochettino guided Chelsea to a sixth-place finish in the 2023/24 campaign and his dismissal came as a surprise to many after finishing the season with an impressive five consecutive wins.

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