Thomas Tuchel has been sacked by Chelsea’s new owners just three months after they formally completed their takeover.
Despite Tuesday night’s horrific Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb, Tuchel’s 100th game in charge, the decision will still come as a shock to many fans and rivals.
Telegraph Sport understand that Tuchel has been notified on Wednesday morning and that Anthony Barry will likely take charge temporarily until a replacement is found – with Graham Potter as the early frontrunner.
While the Zagreb loss has underlined Chelsea’s recent slump under Tuchel, Telegraph Sport understand that his dismissal is not purely based 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 co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, and it is believed the German’s future was in doubt win, lose or draw. in Zagreb.
Boehly and Behdad Eghbali will quickly spring into action to replace Tuchel and immediately begin talking to targets after his removal. An approach to Brighton will likely be made to talk to Potter, with Chelsea aiming for a swift process of due diligence to appoint the right man.
In addition to approaching Potter, Chelsea may try to hold talks with the unemployed duo of Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane. Benfica manager Roger Schmidt could also qualify.
Just minutes after informing Tuchel that he had been sacked, Chelsea released a statement that read: “Chelsea Football Club said goodbye to head coach Thomas Tuchel today.
“On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to thank Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time at the club. Thomas will rightfully have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, Super Cup and World Cup for clubs in his time here.
“As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since the acquisition of the club, and as it continues its hard work to move the club forward, the new owners believe that now is the right time to make this transition.
“Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and preparation for our upcoming matches as the club is quickly on track to appoint a new head coach.
“There will be no further comment until a new head coach is appointed.”
Chelsea, who travel to Fulham on Saturday afternoon, have already lost three games this season, all away from home, and were lucky enough not to be beaten by West Ham United at Stamford Bridge. Sources claim there have been problems behind the scenes at Chelsea all summer, which Tuchel has occasionally hinted at.
Tensions with Boehly
Tuchel made it clear that he did not enjoy the extra responsibility he was given in the transfer window after Boehly and Clearlake gave him more power and more control over Chelsea.
He has echoed his disappointment that former technical and performance adviser Petr Cech left Stamford Bridge after the takeover, revealing on Saturday that he would not be involved in the appointment of a new sporting director.
Sources have also claimed that Tuchel’s relationship with a number of Chelsea squads has deteriorated, while his team selections have caused surprises and at times frustration to players who felt they had been unfairly excluded or played out of position. That became clear in Zagreb.
Despite those issues and the understated results and performance, Tuchel’s departure will put some pressure on Boehly and Clearlake, given the 49-year-old’s popularity with supporters following the Champions League success in 2021, just four months after signing Frank Lampard. had replaced as head coach.
Chelsea fans were also impressed with the way Tuchel became the club’s spokesperson when restrictions were imposed on the club following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sanctions imposed on former owner Roman Abramovich.
Last month, Tuchel claimed there had been preliminary talks about extending his Chelsea contract, saying: “There are talks. But given the situation where we come from and where we are in the midst of the transfer window, I think it’s best is when I can focus on my team and on sports and on being competitive.
“My people talk to the owners and take care of the rest. You know how happy I am to be here and how much I enjoy it. So it’s a good thing.”
But Tuchel has become the first managerial casualty of the new Boehly-Clearlake era, after ex-Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia, Cech and former head of international scouting Scott McLachlan, who left last Friday.