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Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea mutually part ways after one season

Mauricio Pochettino is out as Chelsea manager after just one season, with the sides mutually agreeing to part ways on Tuesday, barely 48 hours after the conclusion of the 2023-24 Premier League season.

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Chelsea spent more than $500 million on new players last summer, stacking the deck full for Pochettino's first season, but many of them were injured for long stretches of the season and made little or no positive impact.

Why has Mauricio Pochettino left Chelsea?

It was a rocky first few months for Pochettino at Stamford Bridge, but the Blues turned a corner late in the season, losing just one of their final 15 games (9W-5D-1L) and positioning themselves to compete for top-four next season. Pochettino had gone from the hot seat to sitting pretty in a matter of a few weeks, rescuing a runaway season and finishing 6th (12th last season). Or, so it seemed from the outside.

In reality, the working relationship between Pochettino and the sporting directors/ownership had long since reached a point of no return. According to a report from The Athletic, Pochettino's tenure also divided Chelsea's ownership group.

It also shines a light on divisions within the ownership; Todd Boehly has been publicly supportive of Pochettino but it is Clearlake Capital co-founders Behdad Eghbali and Jose Feliciano who wield the real power at Chelsea.

Who will hire Mauricio Pochettino next?

And just like that, Mauricio Pochettino becomes the belle of the ball, the biggest name available in an otherwise uninspiring field of candidates for club jobs this summer. Bayern Munich could come calling for Pochettino to replace Thomas Tuchel (not for the first time, mind you) after missing out on their half-dozen top options already. The chance to reunite with Harry Kane could be a deciding factor with a friendly face to build the team around.

Manchester United could be next to make a bold coaching change, with Erik ten Hag still to be assessed after the FA Cup final on Saturday. It wouldn't be the first time Man United were interested in Pochettino, after reportedly courting him in each of their last two searches as well (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ten Hag). It would be a longer-term project at Old Trafford, and a much steeper climb back to winning league titles given the depth of quality in the Premier League.

Who will Chelsea hire to replace Pochettino?

Roberto De Zerbi, who somewhat similarly walked away from Brighton at the end of the season, seems too perfect of a fit to even mention anyone else. The Italian worked very well with a number of young players at Brighton, quickly developing them into first-team contributors before moving them on for massive profits (current Chelsea midfielder Moises Caicedo, as an example). He already has experience (and achieved relative success) in the PL, finishing 6th with the Seagulls a year ago.