Brighton & Hove Albion have reportedly cancelled Graham Potter‘s pre-Bournemouth press conference, as the club’s head coach is seemingly on the verge of moving to Chelsea.
Potter had been due to speak to the media on Thursday to discuss Brighton’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
However, the Englishman is believed to be close to becoming Chelsea’s new manager, having been identified as the number one target to replace Thomas Tuchel, who lost his job on Wednesday morning.
Potter is believed to have been in London on Wednesday afternoon for talks with Chelsea, with the London club said to be prepared to pay the compensation fee in his Seagulls deal, which is believed to be somewhere between £16m and £20m.
According to The Athletic, Brighton decided to scrap the press conference ahead of the Bournemouth game, with the club believing that it would serve no purpose to let him face questions on his expected departure.
Potter is likely to be in the Chelsea dugout for Saturday’s clash with Fulham, with an announcement on his arrival potentially coming on Thursday.
The 47-year-old managed Ostersunds in Sweden for seven years before moving to Swansea City, where he spent a year before being appointed Brighton manager in the summer of 2019.
Potter has a record of 42 wins, 46 draws and 47 defeats from 135 matches in charge of the Seagulls, and he led them to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League last term.
Brighton have also made a strong start to the 2022-23 campaign, collecting 13 points from six matches to occupy fourth position in the table, three points and two spots above Chelsea.
Mauricio Pochettino has also been linked with the role, with the Argentine available immediately, having left his role as Paris Saint-Germain boss over the summer.
Zinedine Zidane and Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim have also been mentioned as candidates, but Potter is seemingly now on the verge of securing the role, and he could be joined by recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay and first-team coach Billy Reid.
Tuchel is believed to have turned down approaches from Manchester United and Barcelona last season in order to remain loyal to Chelsea.
However, unrest behind the scenes is believed to have been the driving factor behind his departure this term, rather than the team’s on-the-field performances.
Chelsea have lost three of their last five matches in all competitions, including a 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The Blues did manage to scrape a 2-1 win over West Ham United in the Premier League last weekend, but they have already lost away to Leeds United and Southampton in the league this term.