Chelsea have appointed former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach on a two-year deal, with the option of a further year, from July 1.
The 51-year-old Argentine, who returns to the Premier League following previous spells in charge of Tottenham and Southampton, permanently succeeds Graham Potter, who was dismissed at the start of April after less than seven months in charge.
Frank Lampard, who led Chelsea on a caretaker basis until the end of the season following Potter’s sacking, has left the club.
Jesus Perez, Miguel d’Agostino, Toni Jimenez and Sebastiano Pochettino will form part of Pochettino’s coaching staff at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said: “Mauricio’s experience, standards of excellence, leadership qualities and character will serve Chelsea Football Club well as we move forward.
“He is a winning coach, who has worked at the highest levels, in multiple leagues and languages. His ethos, tactical approach and commitment to development all made him the exceptional candidate.”
Owners Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali, Jose E. Feliciano, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss added: “The sporting team conducted a diligent and thoughtful process that the board is proud of. We are delighted that Mauricio will be joining Chelsea. Mauricio is a world-class coach with an outstanding track record. We are all looking forward to having him on board.”
Pochettino was the unanimous first choice of the board and the club. The club carried out an exhaustive process – but wanted to speak to the former Tottenham boss from the outset.
In all discussions, it is believed Pochettino was “fully on board” with the structure of the club – including working with co-sporting directors Stewart and Winstanley.
Despite spending £600m in the last two transfer windows, Chelsea finished 12th in the Premier League – the first time they finished in the bottom half for 27 years. The Blues ended the season without a trophy and will not play in Europe next season.