Thomas Tuchel sacked by Chelsea
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Zinedine Zidane was once reportedly willing to manage Chelsea but has since explained that the language barrier could prevent a move to England. The Real Madrid icon is one of the favourites to replace the sacked Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea apparently lined up Zidane to replace former boss Maurizio Sarri in February 2019. The Italian was under-pressure having failed to galvanise the squad after the departure of Antonio Conte, and results were poor.
Sarri remained despite strong links with Zidane, who was apparently keen on the job having been out of work since leaving Real Madrid for the first time the previous summer. However, the Frenchman made a set of demands to the Blues hierarchy.
A three-part wishlist to then-owner Roman Abramovich included tying down star forward Eden Hazard to a long-term contract. Zidane also wanted £200million to improve the squad and to have a major say in transfers alongside sporting director Marina Granovskaia, according to The Sun.
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Chelsea ultimately moved on with Sarri in charge. He won the Europa League at the end of the campaign before his departure – with Frank Lampard being brought in to bridge the growing distance between the club and its fans.
Coincidentally, Zidane did actually get one of his wishes. He was reappointed by Real Madrid soon after and the La Liga club signed Hazard from Chelsea in a deal worth around £100m.
However, he has already explained that a move to the Premier League would be difficult due to the language barrier. Zidane, who is not fluent in English, turned down an approach by Manchester United before the Red Devils appointed Erik ten Hag.
“The language, for example. Some conditions make things more difficult. When I’m told: ‘Do you want to go to Manchester?’ I understand English but I don’t fully master it,” he told L’Equipe.
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“I know there are coaches who go to clubs without speaking the language. But I work differently. To win, many elements come into play. It is a global context. I know what I need to win. And I want to put everything on my side to optimise victory.”
Zidane is one of the favourites to replace Tuchel. However, it is widely understood that Chelsea will first approach Brighton for head coach Graham Potter to see if they can prise the 47-year-old away from the South Coast outfit.
Brighton have enjoyed an excellent start to the new Premier League season – they sit fourth and are just two points behind leaders Arsenal. Potter has previously been of interest to Tottenham.
Mauricio Pochettino is also expected to be among the names linked with succeeding Tuchel. However, the Argentine has previously expressed a desire to not manage the rivals of his former clubs.
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