Early front runners to replace Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea emerge after brutal sacking

are in advanced talks with Graham Potter with a view to formally offering him their vacant manager’s job after firing Thomas Tuchel.

All being well, Potter is expected to be in charge in time for Saturday’s clash against Fulham.

The Brighton boss is the man Chelsea’s owners have identified as their first managerial appointment since taking control earlier this year.

Having made a formal approach to Brighton, the Blues were granted permission to discuss the vacancy with Potter.

Those discussions are understood to have been led by Chelsea co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali at a London location on Wednesday afternoon and are understood to have continued into the evening.

While there has been no confirmation of Potter’s appointment, sources are indicating the only way Chelsea would not appoint the ex-Swansea boss is if he decided to turn the role down.

The identification of Potter as Chelsea’s preferred option to replace Tuchel – who will receive as much as £15million in compensation from the Blues after his shock dismissal – has come during a period the club are without a sporting director.

Boehly has taken interim charge of that position over the summer, however it is understood the club are now close to appointing someone into the crucial role with sources even suggesting the new man has had some influence on the move for Potter.

Former sporting director Michael Edwards and ex-Tottenham and Southampton recruitment guru Paul Mitchell are among the individuals being considered by Chelsea.

Sources have indicated that Potter is fully open to taking over at Stamford Bridge and that reaching an agreement for him to join Chelsea will be straightforward.

Potter is understood to have a release clause – of at least £12million – in his contract meaning Brighton are powerless to prevent their manager from leaving.

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