Chelsea are on the verge of hiring Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager after agreeing terms with the former Paris Saint Germain boss, according to reports on Sunday.
Pochettino is reportedly set to join Chelsea at the end of this season as he returns to the Premier League four years after his sacking by Tottenham.
The Argentine will replace interim manager Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly bids to get his troubled club back on track after a dismal season.
Pochettino will be Chelsea’s sixth permanent manager in five years after Boehly sacked Thomas Tuchel in September and then axed Graham Potter in April.
Pochettino, who has also managed in the Premier League with Southampton, left Paris Saint Germain in July 2022 and was replaced by Christophe Galtier.
Pochettino guided Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019 when they finished as runners-up to Liverpool.
He also led the north Londoners a second place finish in the Premier League in 2017 and the League Cup final in 2015, missing out on the silverware to Chelsea on both occasions.
Despite failing to end a Tottenham trophy drought that stretches back to 2008, Pochettino was widely admired by his players.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane recently bemoaned the change in the club’s culture since the Argentine’s exit.
Following his Tottenham stint, the 51-year-old took over at French side Paris Saint Germain in January 2021.
They finished second in Ligue 1 in 2022, winning the Coupe de France and the Trophee des Champions, which were the first trophies of Pochettino’s managerial career.
Pochettino led PSG to the French title in his second season but departed after failing to make an impact in the Champions League, with a last-16 capitulation against Real Madrid especially damaging to his reign.
Considered for the Manchester United job before Erik ten Hag’s appointment last year, Pochettino will arrive in west London to find a club in crisis.
Chelsea, who last won the title in 2017, are currently 11th in the Premier League.
They have won just one of their past 11 games and look set to miss out on European competition next season.
With three games left, the Blues are in danger of finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League for the first time since 1996.
Boehly’s spending spree on over £550 million ($685 million) of new signings since buying the club from Roman Abramovich last year has failed to have the desired effect.
Chelsea crashed out of both domestic cups and lost limply against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, with Boehly reportedly telling the players their season was “embarrassing” during a dressing room speech immediately after a home defeat against Brighton.
Lampard lost the first six matches of his second spell as Chelsea boss before a victory against Bournemouth and then a draw with lowly Nottingham Forest on Saturday.