Graham Potter has verbally agreed to become Chelsea’s new head coach, the PA news agency understands.
The 47-year-old will continue talks with Chelsea’s new owners but is now expected to leave Brighton for their Premier League rivals.
New Chelsea owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are understood to have met a release fee in Potter’s Amex Stadium contract, with Brighton allowing the Blues to talk to their manager.
Chelsea is 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.
Potter will 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.
Potter is expected to have his Chelsea deal finalized in time for him to take charge of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Fulham.
But Potter has always been considered the top target of the club’s new board.