Chelsea appointing Zinedine Zidane as next manager could give them Kylian Mbappe advantage

January 20, 2023
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could give themselves a crucial edge in any future move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe if Graham Potter leaves by appointing Zinedine Zidane as their next permanent manager. The latter has been linked with a potential move to Chelsea over the last few days amid the uncertainty over Potter’s long-term future in west London after an underwhelming start to his time in charge of the Blues.

Chelsea have failed to make any sort of positive on-pitch progress under the guidance of Potter, who was drafted in from Brighton to replace the sacked Thomas Tuchel back in September. The 47-year-old’s position in the dugout has come under intense scrutiny over the last few weeks, leading to speculation that he could soon become the latest victim of Chelsea’s trigger-happy approach to hiring and firing managers.

Zidane has reportedly emerged as a candidate to replace Potter if he is relieved of his duties in the not-too-distant future, with the Frenchman having been out of work since leaving Real Madrid two years ago. A huge £44.5million-per-season offer has already landed at the feet of Zidane, according to OK Diario, which suggests that Chelsea are wasting no time in lining up a new manager to succeed Potter if the latter fails to improve as a matter of priority.

It seems as though Chelsea could boost their chances of bringing Mbappe to Stamford Bridge by hiring Zidane, with the PSG forward having reportedly asked his current employers to replace Christophe Galtier with the former Real Madrid boss in order to ensure his continued presence at the Parc des Princes. Mbappe is tied down until the summer of 2025 but currently finds himself at the centre of renewed speculation regarding a move to the Spanish giants, who previously saw three bids for the striker rejected by PSG’s hierarchy.

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His apparent fondness for Zidane could see the idea of a move to Chelsea become a reality if Potter is replaced over the coming months, with the 24-year-old seemingly eager to work under his chosen manager at some point before the end of his career. Any successful move for Mbappe would undoubtedly cost Chelsea an arm and a leg, although Todd Boehly has proven that he is willing to spend heavily to sign the right players and would likely have no qualms about shelling out for the PSG marksman if the opportunity arises.

Mbappe was among the first high-profile names to speak out in support of Zidane after Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation, was criticised for making comments about the 50-year-old that were seen by many as disrespectful earlier this month. Le Graet claimed that he ‘wouldn’t have picked up the phone’ if Zidane had called him regarding the France job before Didier Deschamps was tied down to a new long-term contract extension, prompting Mbappe to tweet: “Zidane is France, you can’t disrespect a legend like that.”

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Meanwhile, former Arsenal icon Paul Merson recently insisted that Zidane would be the perfect man to take over at Chelsea as a result of his winning mentality and past experience in the dugout at Real Madrid, telling Sky Sports: “For me, the only one who ticks the box is Zinedine Zidane. He is a legend, nobody is questioning him.

“He was one of the best players in the world and he has managed Real Madrid. He has managed top-drawer players. He is not a manager who wants to be around for five years and build a project, he just wants it now.

“He is not going to build a team. He wants a team that is full of superstars already. People will listen to him. For me, Zidane fits it, the way they work on the basis of a couple of years.”

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