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Chelsea sack Graham Potter, Julian Nagelsmann targeted to replace him

Chelsea have sacked Graham Potter as their head coach.

Julian Nagelsmann, sacked a week ago as Bayern Munich boss, has been installed as the favourite to replace Potter.

Potter was appointed as Thomas Tuchel’s replacement on September 8 on a five-year deal, but has left the club just seven months into that contract, after winning only seven of his 22 Premier League games in charge.

The former Brighton manager was sacked in a meeting on Sunday at 2.45pm. Some senior figures at Chelsea wanted to remove Potter as manager back in January, as Sky Sports News reported at the time.

Sky Sports News understands Potter’s number two Billy Reid has also left the club. Assistant coach Bjorn Hamberg and goalkeeper coach Ben Roberts will remain and assist Bruno Saltor, who has been appointed as interim head coach.

“I feel for Graham Potter, but it was inevitable,” summarised Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher. “You don’t change Tuchel for Potter. Ridiculous decision to start with.”

Chelsea face Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals later this month but Potter’s departure follows Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Saturday night, a result which left the Blues 11th in the Premier League table, 12 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.

During the Stamford Bridge defeat, a section of Chelsea supporters sang: “you don’t know what you’re doing” at Potter.

Who will be the next Chelsea boss?

According to Chelsea, Potter ‘has agreed to collaborate with the Club to facilitate a smooth transition.’

Former Brighton defender Bruno Saltor has been appointed as interim head coach, with his first game coming at home to Liverpool on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports.

But Nagelsmann has already emerged as a frontrunner to be Potter’s long-term successor.

“For all Chelsea’s insistence that they were investing in a process manager and his “innovative coaching” – plus their continued claims of backing his vision – the club’s approach, especially recruitment-wise, was in contrast to Graham Potter’s entire career,” reflected Sky Sports’ Melissa Reddy.

“Chelsea have twice before tried to tempt Mauricio Pochettino. They are one of three known Premier League clubs making a long play for [Brighton boss and Potter successor] Roberto De Zerbi. But the timing of this Potter decision, with Nagelsmann freshly available and Spurs circling, is instructive.”

However, there are doubts that the 35-year-old German is currently prepared to move to London.

“Chelsea will have been doing their homework in the background, trying to set up a replacement. At the moment, we don’t know who that person will be. What we do know is that they want Julian Nagelsmann and and he is available at the moment,” explained Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol.

“The latest information we have coming out from Sky Germany is that they’re not convinced that he’s going to want to move from Germany and take another job straightaway. Maybe he’s going to want to wait until the summer to give him a little bit of a chance to recharge his batteries after leaving Bayern Munich.

“The information I’ve got from my colleagues at Sky Germany this evening is it is 50:50 as to whether Nagelsmann would be prepared to move to Chelsea at the moment.”

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