GRAHAM POTTER has agreed a five-year deal to replace Thomas Tuchel as Chelsea manager.
Chelsea moved quickly to replace the German after making the call to ax their first manager 100 days into new ownership.
Brighton had no hesitation in allowing the Blues to speak to their manager and opening talks took place between Potter and Stamford Bridge bosses on Wednesday, just hours after the Champions League winner Tuchel was axed.
After positive discussions with co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, Potter agreed to take on the role on Wednesday night.
He said: “I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club.
“I’m very excited to be working with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and developing a team and a culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.
“I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for giving me this opportunity and in particular to Tony Bloom and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support throughout my time at the club.”
Other managers including Zinedine Zidane were considered but Potter was always seen as the first choice.
Fine details of Potter’s contract had to be ironed out overnight and well into the morning, including a clause allowing his coaching staff to go with him should he step down for another job at any point.
A compensation package of at least £20million has also been agreed with the Seagulls, with further payments to cover the loss of trainers Billy Reid and Bjorn Hamberg and recruitment expert Kyle Macaulay, all of whom will join Potter.
All three staffers were with Potter at both Ostersunds in Sweden and Swansea City at the Championship before all moving to The Amex.
As final details were finalized on Thursday morning, the 47-year-old returned to Brighton to say goodbye to those left behind.
Potter spent about two hours packing up his things and saying goodbye before heading to Chelsea’s Cobham training ground to seal the deal.
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The Blues wanted their new man to train on Friday before taking his place in the dugout for the west London derby against Fulham on Saturday.
Chelsea hope the ex-Ostersunds manager will be key to creating a new, longer-term culture at the club and move away from the hire-and-fire approach during the Roman Abramovich era.
Despite Potter’s lack of experience at the top of European football, the Blues regard the Englishman as one of the hottest prospects in European coaching.
Potter has led Brighton to a flying start to the season with four wins from six games, including an opening-day win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Since succeeding Chris Hughton at The Amex, the former defender has changed the squad and style of play on the South Coast and will be hard to follow.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6176933/chelsea-new-manager-graham-potter-brighton-thomas-tuchel/ Graham Potter was confirmed as Chelsea boss just a day after Tuchel was sacked as Boehly began putting Blues back on top