'Extraordinary manager' Enzo Maresca confirmed as new Chelsea manager on five-year contract


Chelsea have confirmed Enzo Maresca as their new manager.

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


Maresca could become Chelsea's next managerCredit: Getty

The Blues separated from Mauricio Pochettino after just one season and considered several potential replacements before choosing the 44-year-old.

Their shortlist also included Roberto De Zerbi, Kieran McKenna and Thomas Frank, while Ipswich manager McKenna opted for sign a new agreement on Portman Road.

But Maresca was always his number one goal.

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

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

Maresca's five-year contract has the option of a further year and shows a significant amount of faith, given that Pochettino was only handed a two-year contract.

The contract is understood to contain a number of undisclosed release clauses that favor Chelsea.

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

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


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

Their squad will include former Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero, Danny Walker, Michele De Bernardin, Marcos Álvarez, Javi Molina and Roberto Vitiello.

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

He also worked alongside Chelsea's chief scout Joe Shields, who was at the Etihad in a similar role.

Maresca will replace Pochettino at Chelsea


Maresca will replace Pochettino at ChelseaCredit: Getty

After a brief spell in charge of Parma, Maresca returned to the Etihad as one of Guardiola's assistants after Juanma Lillo left to become coach of Al Sadd in Qatar.

Maresca has been praised for his progressive style of football and becomes the latest Guardiola-influenced coach 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, all the organization he has done with the EDS (elite development team), showed that he will become an extraordinary coach in the future. Extraordinary.

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

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

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

He will also work alongside set-piece coach Bernardo Cueva, who was brought in from 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 sacking came as a surprise to many after finishing the season with an impressive five wins in a row.

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