Luis Enrique ‘disappointed’ by Chelsea decision after Todd Boehly talks

Luis Enrique was left ‘disappointed’ by Chelsea’s decision to appoint Frank Lampard as caretaker manager as he wanted to take over immediately and have a shot at Real Madrid.

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Chelsea resisted the temptation to appoint a new permanent manager after sacking Graham Potter at the start of the month, opting to bring back Lampard to Stamford Bridge as interim boss until the end of the season.

Managerial target Julian Nagelsmann – recently sacked by Bayern Munich – was reportedly keen to wait until the summer to make a decision on his next job, but Enrique wanted to take over at Chelsea immediately, according to AS.

It is claimed Chelsea’s decision to hire Lampard on a temporary basis ‘disappointed’ Enrique, who wanted the chance to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Under Lampard, Chelsea suffered a 2-0 defeat to Champions League holders Madrid at the Bernabeu and now face an uphill battle to qualify for the semi-finals.

Enrique had two spells at Spain after spending three years at Barcelona, in which he won two La Liga titles and the Champions League.

Despite Enrique’s frustration that he was unable to join Chelsea as soon as last week, the former Barca boss remains one of the frontrunners to be Potter’s long-term replacement.

Enrique, 52, had a video call with Stamford Bridge bosses last week before travelling to London for in-person talks with the Chelsea hierarchy, including Todd Boehly.

Nagelsmann could yet beat Enrique to the Chelsea job but Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta has hinted he wants his former Spain boss to take over.

Speaking to Spanish outlet EFE, the defender was keen not avoid direct questions about the managerial situation at Chelsea, saying: ‘There are parts [of the club] who negotiate, that we trust with doing what is best for the club. We will see what happens.’

But asked if he liked the idea of Enrique or indeed any Spanish manager being appointed, the 33-year-old did say: ‘My best games with the national team were with him as coach.’

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