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Marcelo Gallardo throws his hat in the ring for Chelsea vacancy — report

The Enzo whisperer

Talleres v River Plate - Copa de la Liga 2022 Photo by Hernan Cortez/Getty Images

The search for Graham Potter’s non-interim replacement is underway and Chelsea have made contact with our two priority targets to start things off, Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique, with the former seemingly ahead at the moment.

But it’s still early days and the search is expected to involve interviews with at least a handful of candidates over a few weeks if not months. Plans can and do change of course — Chelsea’s new ownership have demonstrated that much already — but for now, this is supposed to be an exhaustive process.

That gives plenty of time for rumors and speculation as well, but while most of those are surely baseless (especially the ones about José Mourinho or the one cooked up by The Sun about Frank Lampard coming back in as interim manager for the rest of the season just because he was at the match last night), there are some worth of note as well, such as The Independent reporting that Marcelo Gallardo has “put himself forward” for the job.

Marcelo Gallardo, manager of River Plate celebrates the... Photo by Manuel Cortina/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Gallardo, 47, may be a relatively unfamiliar name, but he had been the head coach of River Plate for eight years, the last couple of which in 2021 and 2022 (spring-to-fall seasons) saw the emergence of a certain Enzo Fernández. Gallardo left at the end of 2022, with the intention to take a break, but that evidently doesn’t preclude him from sending out feelers.

Highly rated and relatively young (and supposedly quite expensive, too), Gallardo led River to one league title, two Copa Libertadores trophies in eight years. He was named South American Coach of the Year back-to-back-to-back, in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Gallardo played the game on a high level (44 caps for Argentina as an attacking midfielder) and is now coaching on a high level. Obviously, he lacks any sort of credentials in European football, but that gamble aside, he might be an intriguing out-of-the-box option.

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