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Kieran McKenna gives green light to Chelsea move to Ipswich to demand £4m

Kieran McKenna has done a fantastic job at Ipswich Town.

Kieran McKenna has given Chelsea the green light to step up their approach which could see the Ipswich boss replace Mauricio Pochettino at Stamford Bridge.

The Northern Irishman is understood to be excited about the job and has welcomed the Blues including him on their shortlist. Ipswich want McKenna to stay and will offer the 38-year-old a new contract, despite his current deal running until 2027.

Pochettino left Chelsea by mutual agreement on Tuesday, halfway through his two-year contract. The former Tottenham boss took Chelsea to sixth place, securing European football, but the Blues owners still regarded it as a poor performance.

Chelsea have jumped straight into the search for a sixth manager in two years, and McKenna has emerged as one of the leading candidates.

The former Manchester United assistant has led Ipswich to back-to-back promotions, taking the Tractor Boys from League One to the Premier League, and believes he is ready for the next step in his career.

It is believed that Ipswich could get compensation in excess of £4m, although that would not deter Chelsea from any attempt. Brighton have also identified McKenna as a key target to replace the now deceased Roberto De Zerbi.

McKenna won the League Managers Association manager of the year award this week, underlining his work in leading the club back to the top flight for the first time in 22 years.

McKenna embodies the model of coach that the Chelsea hierarchy wants to lead the Blues. The club is determined to bring in a young and talented coach who can grow with the club and develop a long career.

Ruben Amorim has been Chelsea’s long-term target, but it appears difficult to remove the Sporting Lisbon boss this summer. Stuttgart coach Sebastian Hoeness is also highly regarded, but it is expected that he will want to remain in his current position.

Brentford’s Thomas Frank has many admirers at Chelsea but is not believed to be interested in a move to west London. Leicester’s Enzo Maresca could therefore become another strong candidate for the role, with Girona’s Michel also under consideration.

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