The Sunday sackings of Brendan Rodgers and Graham Potter represented the first time since October 2015 that two Premier League managers had departed their posts on the same day.

On that occasion, it was Dick Advocaat and coincidentally Rodgers who left their respective positions at Sunderland and Liverpool.

Now the search is on at both Chelsea and Leicester to find a successor. Who are the names in the frame? Here is a rundown of the leading contenders for the Blues job.


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Julian Nagelsmann

Despite the vast amount of experience that Nagelsmann has amassed at the age of just 35, most clubs in mid-table would baulk at the idea of approaching reportedly the world’s most expensive head coach.

But Chelsea aren’t your standard mid-table club and aren’t deterred by high price tags, as they have demonstrated with their eye-watering transfer spending that has amounted to more than £550m since Todd Boehly bought the west Londoners.

Nagelsmann first took charge of Bundesliga side Hoffenheim aged 28 in February 2016, making him the youngest manager in German top-flight history as he steered the Baden-Wurttemberg outfit to safety.

His stock continued to rise as Hoffenheim sensationally secured back-to-back Champions League qualifications.

He was lured away from the Rhein-Neckar-Arena in the summer of 2019 to RB Leipzig, where he led the Saxons all the way to a Champions League semi-final before finishing second in the Bundesliga the following season to Bayern Munich.

That was enough to convince Bayern that he was the man to succeed Hansi Flick, although his subsequent time at the helm was mixed, leading the Bavarians to a Bundesliga title defence last term.

This term, the gap closed even more and Borussia Dortmund actually led Bayern by one point heading into the international break, convincing the hierarchy to dispense with Nagelsmann’s services.

Nagelsmann’s ability to extract the most out of his forward players has earned him plaudits and it would be intriguing to see him work his magic on the expensively assembled frontline at Stamford Bridge.

He also has an enviable list of contacts in Germany that could well bolster Chelsea’s squad in the coming years, but when asked what he is looking for in a prospective job, he replied: “It appeals to me to work where the structure is clear, where there aren’t 20 guys with an opinion taking you in different directions, where I can decide and things happen quickly as there’s one vision.”

There are certainly question marks over whether that description fits the Blues.

Luis Enrique

Having enjoyed relatively little top-flight experience prior to his appointment by Barcelona in 2014, Enrique was somewhat thrown in the deep end at the Nou Camp.

But the Blaugrana attacking legend soon demonstrated that he was up to the task in the dugout as his charges scored an incredible 175 times in all competitions to secure a spectacular treble, just the second in the club’s history after Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side six years earlier.

The fans had to settle for a mere double in 2015/16 and had only the Copa del Rey to show for their efforts in 2016/17, but whatever accusations might be levelled at Enrique for the gradually diminishing returns, his teams were always electrifying to watch, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all having some of their best years under his stewardship.

Since then, Enrique’s career has encompassed two separate spells in charge of the Spain national team, and although that time in charge hasn’t yet earned him any silverware for his country, La Roja have made notable progress, only just missing out on the final of Euro 2020 and finishing runners-up to France in the Nations League later in 2021.

The World Cup exit at the hands of Morocco was a major blot on Enrique’s copybook despite the Atlas Lions’ run to the semi-finals, but the former Roma and Celta Vigo boss has achieved notable success amid a shortage of top-quality Spanish No 9s in recent years.

With the appropriate resources, Blues fans can expect fireworks.

Mauricio Pochettino

Pochettino may be reluctant to move to Chelsea, especially given his history of facing the Blues with Tottenham, most notably in the hotly tempered May 2016 draw that handed Leicester the title at Spurs’ expense.

In his five years in north London, the Argentinian achieved Champions League qualification on four occasions, taking the club to an historic final in 2019 and nurturing the development of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane during a period of significant improvement in N17.

The Chelsea hierarchy may be sceptical about Pochettino given the relative lack of trophies to his name, and although he did win Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain last season, he wasn’t able to quench the Qatari owners’ thirst for a Champions League crown (although he isn’t the first top-level head coach to have failed in that pursuit).

Pochettino is the candidate on the list with the most Premier League experience and may well have unfinished business in England given his insubstantial trophy cabinet.

He might also prove a positive influence for compatriot Enzo Fernandez, who has been dropped into an extremely difficult situation since his £107m move from Benfica in January.

Zinedine Zidane

It’s easy to see why Chelsea would want Zidane, but why would Zidane yearn for a move to Chelsea?

The Frenchman won three straight Champions Leagues between 2016 and 2018 during a golden era for Real Madrid and also picked up two LaLiga titles while in charge of Los Blancos, along with two Spanish Super Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World Cups.

The 50-year-old has also not been involved in management since May 2021, which could indicate a desire to wait around for the right opportunity, but may also be a sign that the 1998 World Cup winner is no longer interested in returning to any hotseat.

There’s no doubt that the lure of working with Zidane would tempt many top-quality players to move to SW6. However, seeing Zizou in blue seems too good to be true.