Kieran McKenna commits to Ipswich despite interest from Chelsea and Man Utd

Kieran McKenna, Manager of Ipswich Town, applauds prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Ipswich Town at The Coventry Building Society Arena on April 30, 2024 in Coventry, England
Kieran McKenna remains at Portman Road next season - Getty Images/Naomi Baker

Kieran McKenna has committed his future to Ipswich Town after emerging as a target for Premier League rivals including Chelsea, Manchester United and Brighton.

McKenna is preparing for Ipswich’s first season back in the top division for more than two decades after signing a new four-year contract at Portman Road.

Telegraph Sport reported on Monday that the Northern Irishman was set to agree a lucrative new deal after extensive talks with Ipswich chief executive Mark Ashton. The news was confirmed on Thursday afternoon with McKenna targeting further success after delivering two successive promotions.

“We have enjoyed incredible success together over the last two seasons and I’m excited to have the opportunity and responsibility of leading this fantastic club into its first season in the Premier League in 22 years,” he said.

“Preparation and planning for the challenge ahead has been ongoing since we won promotion at the beginning of May, with plenty of work still to do before the start of the new season at what is such an exciting time for everyone at the club.

“I am so happy to have committed my future to taking the next step with Ipswich Town and am really excited for what’s ahead as we continue this journey together.”

McKenna, 38, was discussed as a target by Chelsea and Brighton earlier this month after the departures of Mauricio Pochettino and Roberto De Zerbi respectively. Chelsea are now appointing Leicester’s Enzo Maresca and held talks with McKenna on Sunday before he was withdrawn from the process.

McKenna previously worked at Manchester United and was also in the frame to take charge should Erik ten Hag leave the club, but Ipswich have secured their highly-rated head coach for the long term.

Ashton said: “Success brings its own challenges and there has been considerable speculation in recent weeks, but Kieran and I have continued to communicate throughout, often several times a day, as we plan for the club’s first Premier League season in a generation.

“For Kieran to have signed a new contract is a significant boost, heading into such an important campaign, as we continue the hard work in preparation for the coming season.”

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