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Brighton ‘confident’ they will pip Chelsea to Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna

Chelsea’s search for a new head coach has hit an early roadblock, with Brighton & Hove Albion emerging as frontrunners in the race for Kieran McKenna, according to The Times.

The Blues had identified McKenna as a leading candidate to replace Mauricio Pochettino

However, Brighton are expected to make a formal approach to Ipswich Town for the 38-year-old. They want him to succeed Roberto De Zerbi and are confident he will choose them.

McKenna’s stock has skyrocketed following his back-to-back promotions with Ipswich. 

The Seagulls are reportedly willing to meet his personal demands and will offer a £6 million compensation fee to the newly-promoted club.

Chelsea will find it difficult to secure the coveted McKenna, who also has interest from Manchester United, where he previously worked. 

The Blues could miss out on their top target and might need to consider alternative options. 

The upcoming managerial merry-go-round promises to be interesting and heart-wrenching. Chelsea must act swiftly and decisively to land their preferred candidate.

Chelsea’s uninspiring managerial shortlist has been reduced to Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca, Brentford’s Thomas Frank, McKenna, and an unnamed fourth coach. It remains unclear who the top candidate for the job is.

The West Londoners need to be smart and decisive with their hiring, or they could find themselves in a similar situation next season.

McKenna blow a blessing in disguise?

Potentially missing out on McKenna is a blow for the board, but some Chelsea fans might see it as a blessing in disguise. 

The 38-year-old has never managed in the Premier League, and questions linger about his ability to adapt to the ruthless top-flight environment.

Chelsea’s recent gamble on an unproven manager in Graham Potter backfired spectacularly. 

Potter, like McKenna, enjoyed success at a smaller club (Brighton) but struggled under the immense pressure and expectations at Stamford Bridge. 

The Blues can’t afford another such gamble. Setting their sights on a more established manager (someone with a proven track record of success at the highest level) is the wiser course of action.

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