Mauricio Pochettino leaves Chelsea by mutual consent

Mauricio Pochettino leaves Chelsea by mutual consent

Mauricio Pochettino has left Chelsea by mutual consent after differences of opinion with club bosses over the Blues’ future direction.

Pochettino led Chelsea to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League, rallying from 11th at the start of April with five-straight wins to finish the season.

Tensions had grown between Pochettino and Chelsea’s co-owners and co-sporting directors however, and that differences in vision ultimately proved insurmountable.

The former Tottenham manager has left on good terms and there was no fallings out with Chelsea chiefs Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali and Jose Feliciano.

The 52-year-old will immediately be a man in demand however, with Manchester United among those still retaining strong interest in his services.

Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim and Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna will be among the candidates as a replacement, with Pochettino leaving Stamford Bridge with a year left on his contract.

“On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season,” read a statement from joint sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley.

“He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching career.”

Bayern Munich will now add Pochettino to the shortlist for their vacant manager’s job, with Brentford’s Thomas Frank and Burnley’s Vincent Kompany also under consideration.

“Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and sporting directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club’s history,” said Pochettino.

Mauricio Pochettino raised doubts about his Chelsea future last week (AFP via Getty Images)
Mauricio Pochettino raised doubts about his Chelsea future last week (AFP via Getty Images)

“The club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come.”

Pochettino turned Chelsea into one of the league’s form teams in the second half of the season.

The Blues lost just once in their last 15 Premier League matches, despite a crippling injury list and after a chaotic first half of the campaign.

Chelsea’s chiefs were still left feeling Pochettino should have forced a higher league finish however, and the eventual new manager will have to manage the highest expectations.

Just as Chelsea were picking up form and Pochettino’s system was starting to click earlier this month, the 52-year-old started to raise clear doubts himself on his future.

The day before Chelsea pulled off a battling 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest, Pochettino admitted leaving this summer would not be a disaster.

“It’s not going to be the first time a coaching staff decide at the end of the season not to keep going, but at this stage it goes in the opposite way,” said Pochettino, on May 10.

“They can say tomorrow, ‘Stay here’, or maybe tomorrow I can say, ‘Look, I want to leave’. It is two parts that can take a decision.

“Maybe if we leave here, it’s not a problem, it’s not going to be the end of the world.”

Chelsea’s new owners will now employ their sixth coach in almost exactly two years, including short-term caretaker Bruno Saltor.

Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, Frank Lampard and Pochettino have been the main men charged with reviving the Blues’ fortunes but so far not to sufficient avail for the demanding chiefs.