Eden Hazard names his choice of manager to replace Pochettino at Chelsea

Eden Hazard has recommended one of his former teammates to succeed Mauricio Pochettino as the next Chelsea head coach.

Former Chelsea star Eden Hazard has put forth a surprising candidate for the club’s next manager following Mauricio Pochettino’s recent departure.

Pochettino, who guided the Blues to five straight victories at the end of the 2023/24 campaign, left by mutual consent on Tuesday evening – just a year after his appointment securing a return to European competition.

It came as a surprise given how well Chelsea have performed in the weeks leading to the end of the campaign, but the club hierarchy has made a decision to move quickly in the market to appoint a new head coach ahead of next season.

Several high-profile names have been linked with the role, including fan favourite Jose Mourinho.

But according to a report from The Athletic, Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca and Brentford’s Thomas Frank are ‘the only known options remaining to take over’ after it emerged that Kieran McKenna was no longer being considered.

Sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart are leading the search for a new head coach, and it appears they are hopeful of an appointment before June rolls around.

It looks increasingly likely that one of the two previously mentioned candidates will get the job, although Chelsea legend Eden Hazard has another contender in mind.

Speaking to talkSPORT after a game at the King’s World Cup in Mexico, Hazard opened up on the departure of Pochettino.

“I was a bit sad, to be fair. I think that he did a great job,” he said.

“I know that people want Chelsea to be in the top four but it’s just a season of transition. He’s a great manager, I wish him good luck and let’s see who is going to be there in the future.”

The Belgian was then asked if Roberto De Zerbi would be a “good option” to take the reigns.

“Maybe,” he grinned. “I also have my friend in Como, he can be the first manager.”

Apparently, the said manager being referred to here is former Chelsea teammate Cesc Fabregas, who recently guided Italian side Como to Serie A promotion.

Fabregas’ journey in coaching has only just begun, so a move to Chelsea may be a little premature given his lack of experience.

But the former Spain international recently admitted that his dream is to one day manage in the Premier League.

“You never know how the future will go, but I want to be a main coach,” he told Standard Sport.

“I am doing my own way at the moment. 100 per cent my ambition one day is to coach a top club in the Premier League, the Champions League.”

“But you need to respect the right steps. I feel I am ready to be a first-team coach already so I don’t really want to go into these types of little coaching on the side or being an assistant.”

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