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Chelsea In Talks With Brighton’s Graham Potter To Replace Sacked Thomas Tuchel, May Be Unveiled By Weekend

Brighton manager Graham Potter is the man Chelsea’s American owners want to replace the sacked Thomas Tuchel.

The Stamford Bridge club have been granted permission by Brighton to formally discuss the vacancy with Potter.

Sportsmail has been told that Potter is Chelsea’s No 1 target to replace Tuchel, who was sacked this morning.

Should Chelsea’s talks with Potter go according to plan, the expectancy is that the current Seagulls boss will be offered the job as new Chelsea head coach.ADVERTISEMENT

Sources have indicated that Potter is fully open to taking over at Stamford Bridge and that reaching an agreement for him to join Chelsea will be straightforward.

Indeed, unless there is a breakdown, Potter could be in position by the weekend when Chelsea take on Fulham.

Potter is understood to have a release clause – of at least £12million – in his contract meaning Brighton are powerless to prevent their manager from leaving.

Sportsmail understands the clause includes the release of the majority of Potter’s staff at the Amex.

Potter is settled at Brighton, who have started the season excellently.

However, sources have indicated to Sportsmail that Potter would give serious consideration to leaving the Seagulls for a club competing in the Champions League.

If Chelsea’s move for Potter fails to materialise then Mauricio Pochettino is also viewed as a strong candidate.

Thomas Tuchel was sacked this morning just hours after his side’s defeat against Dinamo Zagreb.

Pochettino is a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer meaning he is available for nothing.

It is understood Pochettino is aware of Chelsea’s interest, but Potter’s emergence as the club’s preferred option leaves the Argentine playing a waiting game.

Zinedine Zidane would also be of interest to Chelsea bosses – but he wants to take over from Didier Deschamps as France manager after the World Cup.

Chelsea are sixth in the Premier League and have made a miserable start to their Champions League campaign, with Tuchel disposed of hours after their humbling 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb, his 100th match in charge.

The club said they would move ‘swiftly’ to appoint a new manager and Tuchel’s coaching staff will continue to take charge of the team in the interim.

Sportsmail has revealed that Chelsea sacking Tuchel will cost the club £15m – with £13m going to the German and £2m to his coaching staff. 

‘On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the club,’ Chelsea said in their statement on Tuchel’s sacking.

‘Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.

‘As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.’

Zinedine Zidane is one of the other names on the potential shortlist for the Chelsea job

The sacking of Tuchel has caught some by surprise given he publicly claimed that negotiations were ongoing for a contract extension just last month.

‘There are talks,’ he said. 

‘But I think given the situation where we come from, and where we are in the middle of the transfer period, I think it is the very best if I focus on my team and on sports and on being competitive.

‘My people talk to the owners and take care of everything else. You know how glad I am to be here and how much I like it. So it’s a good thing.’

The new manager at Stamford Bridge will inherit a squad that has been bolstered to the tune of more than £260million in the summer, a record spend in one window for a Premier League club at more than £260million. 

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