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Chelsea to ‘meet’ surprise candidate as angry outgoing boss tells replacement he will ‘suffer’ in job

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According to reports, Chelsea are planning to ‘meet’ with Xavi Hernandez following his exit from Barcelona, with Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna out of the running.

Chelsea sacked Mauricio Pochettino last week despite the club’s strong end to the season.

The Blues were the fourth-best team in the Premier League after the turn of the year and qualified for Europe despite lingering in mid-table for much of the campaign.

The list of underwhelming candidates in the frame to replace Pochettino has made the decision all the more confusing.

Ipswich manager McKenna quickly emerged as the frontrunner but a report from David Ornstein of The Athletic on Sunday evening claimed that he is no longer being considered.

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Reports suggest that Brentford boss Thomas Frank and Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca are the current favourites but the bookmakers reckon it is former Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi.

Xavi to speak to Chelsea over replacing Pochettino

However, a surprise name now in the running is Xavi, who announced he would leave Barcelona in January, before a great run of form saw the club U-turn, before a difficult end to the campaign saw another U-turn.

The Spaniard has officially managed his final match, a 2-1 win at Sevilla on Sunday.

Former Germany and Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick will reportedly replace Xavi, with an announcement expected very soon.

With Xavi now out of work, he has been linked with a surprise move to Chelsea, who are reportedly considering appointing the 44-year-old.

According to reports over the weekend, there will be talks between Xavi and the Blues over ‘the possibility of him becoming their new head coach’.

The meeting will ‘evaluate’ whether or not Xavi is a suitable candidate to replace Pochettino.

Xavi warns incoming Barcelona boss Flick he ‘will suffer’

Speaking after Sunday’s victory, Xavi had some words of advice for Flick, who is expected to replace him in Catalonia.

The former Barcelona midfielder informed Flick that he “will suffer” and has even said the work he did as manager of the club was underappreciated.

“To the new manager, I tell you: You will suffer,” he said.

“This is a difficult job and you have to be patient.

“I think that our work has not been appreciated enough. I took over when the team was in ninth place, finished the season in second place, and won the league the next season.”

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