What started as little more than tabloid speculation based on seemingly unconnected events has now grown into a full-fledged rumor, as Claude Makélélé is set to join the influx of returning Chelsea legends this summer at Stamford Bridge.
According to Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella, the former defensive midfielder who redefined the position “will be given a prominent coaching post with the loan group”. As mentioned in yesterday’s report from Matt Law in the Telegraph, the move will be part of a massive Blues-flavored backroom overhaul in the wake of Sarri’s departure and with a view towards the arrivals of Frank Lampard as head coach and Petr Čech as something “similar to that of a technical director” — that’s Kinsella’s wording.
Loan group coaches work with players on loan from Chelsea, tracking, advising, reporting on them, though they’re often involved with training at Cobham as well. The two most prominent members of that department currently include Eddie Newton and Paulo Ferreira. It’s not yet clear if they will continue in those roles or will be switching to something different this summer. Kinsella also reminds that Tiémoué Bakayoko credited Makélélé for helping turn his career around at Monaco.
Makélélé left his head coaching position as KAS Eupen in the Belgian top division just a few days ago, though he was supposedly set for an ambassadorial and “social projects” role with the team. Presumably he’ll give that up if he does join back up with Chelsea.
After leaving Chelsea in 2008, Makélélé finished out his playing career at pre-state-funded PSG, then joined the coaching setup there to help out former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti and assistant Paul Clement. He later took a technical role at Monaco, then joined Clement for a brief spell at Swansea City, before taking the head coaching job at also Qatar-owned Eupen in 2017. Earlier, he had a poor spell in charge of SC Bastia in France, but he did much better in Belgium, keeping the minnows in the top flight in both of his seasons in charge, finishing 12th this season, their highest ever final position.