The stunning Chelsea manager change nobody will expect as Mauricio Pochettino's future looks bleak

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The Blues continue to be linked with a potential managerial change this summer

Sharks can’t swim backwards. Famously. Thomas Tuchel is not a shark, he is a human man, and one who, in around a month’s time, is set to become unemployed. When that eventually happens, the German will, one presumes, be faced with a number of likely job offers. The vast majority will float before him like bloody chum in the briny depths, but one particular morsel will hang back, somewhere in his slipstream, present but not necessarily obvious. If Thomas Tuchel was a shark he would never return to Chelsea. But, as we have already established, he’s not a shark, he’s a man - and sometimes men do go backwards.

The situation is not overly complex; earlier in the year, it was announced that Bayern Munich would part company with Tuchel following an underwhelming campaign in which they unthinkably relinquished control of the Bundesliga title to Xabi Alonso’s freakishly imperious Bayer Leverkusen side. Bayern could, of course, still go on to lift the Champions League in the coming weeks, but that doesn’t appear to be here nor there, and Tommy T, with his cheekbones that could cut glass, is irrecoverably destined for the exit.

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Meanwhile, over in West London, Tuchel’s old stomping ground is in shambles. Chelsea continue to stagger and skitter along in a manner that seems purposely designed to cause both cardiac arrest and psychological trauma, and their Jekyll and Hyde act stopped being endearing about a year-and-a-half ago.

The Blues are still very much in the running for a European qualification spot this season, but by no means are their continental ambitions concrete, and with every passing pratfall - Tuesday’s 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Arsenal being the latest example - Mauricio Pochettino’s position at the club grows more and more precarious.

It doesn’t seem to matter that Chelsea, for all of the money they have spent, are evidently an incomplete proposition, or that most of the signings they have made during Todd Boehly’s tenure in the boardroom will clearly require huge doses of patience and coaxing to maximise their respective potentials. The long and the short of it is that the Blues have spent in excess of £1 billion over the past couple of years, and are still little more than an upper mid-table side.

Various names have been touted as prospective successors to Pochettino in the event of Boehly wheeling out his managerial guillotine once again, but few have caught the eye like Tuchel’s. According to Sky Sports reporter Florian Plettenberg, the German has never ruled out the possibility of returning to Stamford Bridge, and still very much has Chelsea in his sights. More recently, there have been rumblings that he might be in talks with Manchester United, but for the time being, a West London homecoming cannot be ruled out.

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Naturally, there are a lot of dominoes that have to fall before we reach that particular conclusion. Chelsea would have to oust Pochettino for one, while Tuchel and United would have to pass up on a working relationship too. But stranger things have happened, and given the current state of his club, Boehly could surely do far worse than bringing back the man who, during his last stint in England, won a Champions League with the Blues.

And if the unimaginable were to come to fruition and Tuchel were to return to Chelsea, make no mistake, it would be one of the stories of the summer.

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