Mauricio Pochettino is in final talks with Chelsea to become the club’s permanent manager with the Argentine set to be followed to Stamford Bridge with his four-man trust.
Chelsea and Pochettino are hoping for a quick deal on the terms of his appointment with both sides positive about the direction talks have gone over the past week.
Barring late hitches, Pochettino is expected to be named Graham Potter’s permanent successor and allowed to bring along at least four of his most trusted allies.
Pochettino is expected to be joined at Chelsea by his respected assistant coach and head of conditioning Jesus Perez, first team coach Miguel D’Agostino, goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez and son Sebastiano, a sports scientist.
Three of the four, Perez, D’Agostino and Jimenez, have worked with Pochettino throughout his coaching career at Espanyol, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain, while Sebastiano has been with him at Spurs and in France.
Perez is particularly influential in Pochettino’s set-up and will work closely with Chelsea’s medical department to ensure the squad is in the best possible physical condition.
Caretaker manager Frank Lampard has questioned the fitness levels of some Chelsea players, and Pochettino’s squads’ impressive running distances have been a feature of his work at all of his clubs.
Chelsea are yet to confirm the status of Potter’s old coaching staff who have fallen behind following his sacking, but Bruno Saltor and Bjorn Hamberg are expected to leave, while the anticipated arrival of Jimenez could see goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts leave.
Billy Reid left with Potter, while Anthony Barry officially joined Bayern Munich last week, meaning Pochettino should have plenty of room to bring in his own staff. Whether or not there is a long-term future at Chelsea for Kyle Macaulay remains to be seen, who has arrived at the club as a recruitment specialist under Potter.
Explaining the relationship between Pochettino and his staff, Perez once said: “He (Pochettino) is very close to us. He is a really extraordinary coach because I have had experience with others and they have been different.
“If he discusses a new contract, it is first our contract and then his contract. Things like that mean so much. He never puts himself first.”
As revealed by Telegraph Sport, Chelsea’s players are excited by the prospect of Pochettino taking charge and the 51-year-old is thought to have been impressed with what he has heard so far from owner co-controllers Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali.
Chelsea’s process to appoint a new manager has been led by sporting co-directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, but Boehly and Eghbali are now believed to be involved in final negotiations for the hiring of Pochettino.