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Chelsea make first contact with Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique — reports

First-choice managerial targets?

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Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Stefan Brauer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The hills are alive with the sound of managerial speculation, as an otherwise dormant rumor mill has quickly spun up to full speed and started producing such gems as “José Mourinho would find it hard to say no”. Brilliant. He would find it hard to say anything to a question that won’t be asked.

Other ITK favorites like Roberto De Zerbi and Rúben Amorim also firmly remain in the speculative realm.

Our two priority targets, in a search that may be anywhere from two weeks to two months long, appear to be Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique, and the Telegraph’s reporting exclusively today that we’ve made contact with both out-of-work managers. Nagelsmann was of course fired at Bayern just the other week, with Thomas Tuchel replacing him — and no, Tommy T doesn’t want anything to do with us anymore — while Luis Enrique stepped down as Spain manager after their Round of 16 exit at the 2022 World Cup in December.

Morocco v Spain: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Nagelsmann’s connection with the ex-Red Bull crew at Chelsea, including directors Christopher Vivell and Laurence Stewart could see him land the job eventually, though apparently he’s not in a hurry to do so. The more experienced and thus possibly more attractive Luis Enrique is ready to go now, and quite specifically ready to go to England as well.

Chelsea are said to be looking to interview at least four-five candidates, but beyond Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique, and the similarly out-of-work Mauricio Pochettino (not a priority target, evidently), there aren’t too many readily available options out there.

The Telegraph mention Luciano Spalletti, again, who’s surely good at Napoli right now, and also give a name-drop to Oliver Glasner, who won the Europa League last season with Eintracht Frankfurt. They also briefly tease Carlo Ancelotti (Nagelsmann to Real Madrid was the accepted destiny before Potter’s sacking) — if there is an ex-Chelsea man who can cobble together and manage a massive collection of talent and ego with the raise of an eyebrow, it’s Uncle Carlo.

While Nagelsmann strikes me as more fit for a “project”, for what it’s worth (which is nothing), my money would be on Luis Enrique right now, but I’m not a betting man.

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