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Graham Potter make his first comments after being appointed as Chelsea boss

New Chelsea owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are understood to have met a release fee in Potter’s contract at Brighton.

File photo dated 12-02-2022 of Brighton and Hove Albion manager Graham Potter, who intends finishing the season with a flourish even though his team appear safe from Premier League relegation. Issue date: Thursday April 28, 2022.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Chelsea have confirmed the appointment of Graham Potter as their new manager.

New Chelsea owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are understood to have met a release fee in Potter’s contract at Brighton, with the south coast club allowing the Blues to talk to their manager.

On making the move to Stamford Bridge, Potter said: "I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club. I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.

"I would also like to place my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for allowing me this opportunity and in particular Tony Bloom and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club.”

Todd Boehly, chairman, said: ‘We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea. He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the Club. Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful Club.

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"He has had a major impact at his previous Clubs and we look forward to his positive impact at Chelsea. We look forward to supporting him, his coaching team and the squad in realising their full potential in the coming months and years.”

Potter should now become the first managerial appointment of Chelsea’s new era, with the ambitious US owners determined to install a manager at the Stamford Bridge helm for the long-term.

The Solihull-born coach is expected to have his Chelsea deal finalised in time for him to take charge of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Fulham.

Chelsea are understood to have made initial contact with Mauricio Pochettino and Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim, as well as considering Zinedine Zidane and even Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers.

But Potter has always been considered the top target of the club’s new board.

Tuchel was sacked by Chelsea on Wednesday morning, amid mounting discord with the new board and growing issues with the Stamford Bridge players.

Former Paris St Germain coach Tuchel led Chelsea to the 2021 Champions League title, then the 2022 Club World Cup crown.

But the charismatic German coach paid the price for disharmony with the Blues’ new owners, who were left feeling unable to see Tuchel at the centre of their west London revamp.

Potter is understood to have asked for assurances about the new Chelsea owners’ plans to fashion a set-up for managers to make long-term plans that they then actually also carry out.

The former Swansea boss was impressed with what he heard in face-to-face meetings with Boehly and Eghbali on Wednesday afternoon, paving the way for a deal to be wrapped up quickly.

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