Graham Potter

Graham Potter has verbally agreed to become Chelsea’s new manager and he is expected to take position in the dugout for Saturday’s game against Fulham.

Controlling owner Todd Boehly wasted no time in dispensing Thomas Tuchel after the disastrous Champions League loss away to Dinamo Zagreb and he has moved quickly to get Potter.

The Seagulls boss was due to speak to the media on Thursday ahead of his current side’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth, and he was seen pulling into their training base for the last time early on Thursday morning.

Potter, who is going over a few final details of the contract this morning, is expected to be in the Chelsea dugout, along with his Brighton staff, for the Blues’ match against Fulham on Saturday.

More to follow.

Potter was locked in advanced talks with the Blues on Wednesday night and an agreement is said to be close. Barring any last-minute hitches, he is expected to be in charge for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Fulham.

Having made a formal approach to Brighton, Chelsea were granted permission to speak to Potter.

Those talks are understood to have been led by co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali in London on Wednesday afternoon and continued into the evening. Sources said the only way Chelsea would not appoint him is if he turned down the role.

The identification of Potter as Chelsea’s preferred option to replace Tuchel — who will receive as much as £13million in compensation after his shock dismissal — has come during a period in which the club are without a sporting director.

Boehly has taken interim charge, but it is understood the club are close to appointing someone in that role. Sources have even said the new man has had some influence on the move for Potter.

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

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

The 47-year-old is understood to have a release clause of at least £12m in his contract, meaning Brighton are powerless to stop their manager leaving.

Recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay and first-team coach Billy Reid are among the Brighton staff set to follow Potter to London.

Tuchel was sacked on Wednesday hours after his side’s 1-0 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb, Chelsea’s third loss in seven games. It is believed the decision was made before the chastening result in Croatia.


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