Chelsea may panic and decide to sack Mauricio Pochettino before Liverpool get the pick of the world’s best coaches in the summer.
Should the Blues pull the trigger on the struggling Argentine, their search for a replacement could have consequences for the Anfield hierarchy when they source Jurgen Klopp’s successor.
Pochettino conceded that his job security is under threat after Sunday’s 4-2 home defeat against Wolves. It followed a chastening 4-1 hammering by Liverpool in midweek.
While Pochettino continues to contend with a chaotic structure at Stamford Bridge, the former Tottenham boss cannot be absolved of responsibility for his side’s woeful form. A squad that has cost a staggering £1billion should not be 11th in the Premier League.
Chelsea have looked poorly coached, a poor reflection of a coaching staff that has now had more than six months to put forward their ideas.
Todd Boehly has insisted that managers will be given time after going through three head coaches before Pochettino’s arrival in the summer, but the American co-owner might need to make an exception.
The west Londoners do not want to be in a battle for a manager in the summer. Liverpool will be the most enticing proposition for the world’s best coaches.
Barcelona will also be searching for a new figurehead, while Manchester United might have parted ways with Erik ten Hag come the end of the campaign.
According to French publication Sport Zone, Xabi Alonso has been identified as the ideal candidate to replace Pochettino. But the Spaniard, who has shone in his first senior managerial role with Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen, will be the favourite to replace Klopp in less than six months’ time.
Alonso remains popular at Anfield having enjoyed success in the club’s midfield in the late 2000s.
His coaching career has wowed executives around the globe, with Leverkusen adopting an aggressive, short-passing, high-pressing style that has propelled them to the top of the German first tier.
Chelsea will need to sack Pochettino soon if they want to get ahead of their European rivals in the hunt for the best managers. That, in turn, will have a knock-on effect for Liverpool’s long term plan for replacing Klopp.
Liverpool will see other high-profile clubs hiring top coaches, which will dilute the market for their search come the summer.
If Alonso is Chelsea’s first choice, the Blues must act now to ensure the former midfielder replaces Pochettino. That, though, will frustrate Liverpool and likely send the Anfield hierarchy back to the drawing board ahead of a difficult summer.