Thomas Tuchel was sacked by the new Chelsea owners just three months after formally completing the acquisition.
Despite Tuesday night’s terrible Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb, Tuchel’s 100th game in office, the decision will still come as a shock to many fans and rivals.
Telegraph Sport understands that Tuchel was notified on Wednesday morning and it is likely Anthony Barry will take up the temporary position until a replacement is found, with Graham Potter taking the lead.
While the defeat in Zagreb may have underscored Chelsea’s recent collapse under Tuchel, Telegraph Sport understands his sacking isn’t based solely on results or Chelsea’s poor start to the season.
Regardless of Tuesday night’s defeat, concerns grew that Tuchel was not the right man to lead the new era under the control of owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, and it is believed that the German’s future was in doubt: victory, defeat or draw in Zagreb.
Boehly and Behdad Eghbali will move quickly to replace Tuchel and will immediately begin talking to targets upon his removal. An approach to Brighton is likely to be made to speak to Potter, with Chelsea aiming for a quick due diligence process to appoint the right man.
In addition to getting close to Potter, Chelsea could try to hold discussions with unemployed duo Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane. Benfica manager Roger Schmidt could also be considered.
Chelsea statement: “Right time for transition”
Minutes after informing Tuchel that he had been sacked, Chelsea released a statement which read: “Chelsea Football Club split from manager Thomas Tuchel today.
“On behalf of all Chelsea FC, the club would like to record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the club. Thomas will rightfully have a place in Chelsea history after winning the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup during his time here.
“As the new ownership group has reached 100 days since taking over the club and as it continues its hard work to bring the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.
“Chelsea coaching staff will take care of the team for training and preparation for our upcoming games as the club moves quickly to appoint a new manager.
“There will be no further comments until a new head coach is appointed.”
Chelsea, who will travel to Fulham on Saturday for lunch, have already lost three games this season, all away from home, and were lucky enough not to be beaten at Stamford Bridge by West Ham United.
Tensions with Chelsea players
Sources said there were problems behind the scenes at Chelsea all summer, which Tuchel hinted at on a few occasions.
Tuchel made it clear that he didn’t like the extra responsibility he was given in the transfer window after Boehly and Clearlake handed him more power and a greater say in Chelsea’s affairs.
He reiterated his disappointment that former technical and performance consultant Petr Cech left Stamford Bridge after the takeover and revealed on Saturday that he would not be involved in appointing a new sporting director.
Sources also said that Tuchel’s relationship with a number of Chelsea teams has deteriorated, while his team selections have caused surprise and, at times, frustration among players who felt unfairly excluded or played out of position. This seemed to be evident in Zagreb.
Despite those problems and below-average results and performance, Tuchel’s departure will put Boehly and Clearlake under pressure, given the 49-year-old’s popularity with fans following his 2021 Champions League success, just four months after replacing Frank Lampard as boss. trainer.
Chelsea fans were also impressed by the way Tuchel became the club’s spokesperson when restrictions were placed on the club following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and sanctions imposed on former owner Roman Abramovich.
Just last month, Tuchel said there had been preliminary talks on extending his contract with Chelsea saying: “There are talks. But I think given the situation we come from and where we are in the middle of the transfer period. , I think it’s best if I focus on my team, sport and being competitive.
“My people talk to the owners and take care of everything else. You know how happy I am to be here and how much I like it. So that’s a good thing. “
But Tuchel has become the first managerial victim of the new Boehly-Clearlake era, following former Chelsea president Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia, Cech and former international scouting chief Scott McLachlan, who left last Friday.