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Chelsea 'reach full agreement with 44-year-old over manager's job'

:Headline: Chelsea 'reach full agreement with 44-year-old over manager's job':
Chelsea reportedly reach a full agreement with Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca over a five-year deal to become their new manager.
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Chelsea have reportedly reached a full agreement with their incoming head coach, who will take charge of the West London giants on a five-year contract.

The Blues have been linked with numerous candidates both before and after the surprise departure of Mauricio Pochettino, who oversaw a revival towards the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

Chelsea's sixth-placed ranking in the Premier League table ended up proving good enough for Europa Conference League football, and he was tipped to stay on to oversee another summer rebuild.

However, the ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain head coach ended up departing Stamford Bridge after just one year, the latest victim of Todd Boehly's trigger-happy board.

After whittling down their list of candidates, which formerly included the likes of Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Frank and Kieran McKenna, Chelsea settled on Leicester City's Enzo Maresca as their preferred candidate.

Maresca 'to sign five-year deal with Chelsea'

Negotiations with the former Manchester City assistant manager progressed rapidly, and according to Sky Sports News, Maresca's arrival in the English capital is now imminent.

In contrast to the two-year deal with the option of a third that Pochettino penned last year, the Chelsea board have supposedly sanctioned a five-year agreement with Maresca, and the deal is on the verge of being finalised.

As well as offering Maresca a high level of job security, the 44-year-old's long-term deal reflects the hierarchy's belief in his long-term project, and an announcement could even be made before the weekend.

The 44-year-old will take over at Stamford Bridge after leading Leicester back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, as the Foxes accrued 97 points from 46 Championship matches to storm to the title.

Maresca was previously on Man City's books as Pep Guardiola's assistant for the 2022-23 season, while he has also worked with West Ham United, Sevilla, Ascoli and Parma, serving as the latter's head coach in 2021.

What is on Maresca's agenda at Chelsea?

To say that Maresca is stepping into a Chelsea cauldron would be an understatement, and the 44-year-old's first job will certainly be to win over a squad who were allegedly left shocked and upset by Pochettino's departure.

The 44-year-old is an aficionado of an attacking 4-3-3 system focusing on possession dominance, which supposedly stood out during talks with Chelsea's representatives, and he is also said to boast an extensive knowledge of the entire Blues squad and academy team.

Maresca is expected to predominantly focus on Chelsea's on-field exploits and leave the transfer dealings to Boehly and co, but the ex-Man City assistant must help to find a solution with a couple of home-grown question marks.

Both Conor Gallagher and Trevoh Chalobah blossomed into key Chelsea players under Pochettino, but the former is only under contract until 2025, and the board are hoping to offload both this summer as a means of staying on the right side of Financial Fair Play.

Integrating new players into the squad will also be high on Maresca's agenda, although that list will not include Estevao Willian, whose move from Palmeiras will not go through until 2025.

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