LONDON: Mauricio Pochettino has been confirmed as the new head coach of Chelsea, initially on a two-year contract.
Although Chelsea made the decision to sack Graham Potter on April 2, the decision was made to oversee a thorough process to find a suitable replacement, with Frank Lampard instead being brought in on a caretaker basis.
At a time when Lampard was struggling to turn around Chelsea’s fortunes, it was widely reported that Pochettino was on the brink of being confirmed as the next incumbent to the Chelsea dugout.
While the official announcement has come much later than expected, Chelsea revealed on Monday afternoon that Pochettino had officially been handed the reins.
Reports initially suggested that a three-year contract had been signed, but the Premier League outfit says that it is a deal until 2025 with the club possessing the option to extend the terms by a further 12 months.
As quoted by the club’s official website, co-owners Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali, Jose E. Feliciano, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss said: “The sporting team conducted a diligent and thoughtful process that the board is proud of.
“We are delighted that Mauricio will be joining Chelsea. Mauricio is a world-class coach with an outstanding track record. We are all looking forward to having him on board.”
Chelsea stated that Pochettino will officially start work on July 1, where he will be joined by Jesus Perez, Miguel d’Agostino, Toni Jimenez and Sebastiano Pochettino.
However, it is expected that the 51-year-old will be fully involved in the transfer business over the next month as Chelsea bids to recover from their 12th-placed finish in the Premier League.
Pochettino returns to football after nearly a year away, the Argentine last spending time at Paris Saint-Germain between January 2021 and July 2022.
Despite that mixed stint in France, Pochettino is better known for his time with Tottenham Hotspur, one of Chelsea’s fiercest rivals, between 2014 and 2019.
During those five years, Spurs challenged for the Premier League title and reached the 2019 Champions League final, where they lost to Liverpool.
As it stands, Pochettino’s first game in charge will be a friendly versus Wrexham on July 19, a fixture that represents the first of five pre-season matches to be held in the United States