McKenna Speculation Continues - Ipswich Town News

Speculation regarding Blues boss Kieran McKenna’s future continues with Brighton, Manchester United and Chelsea all reportedly showing interest in the Town manager.

On Saturday, McKenna emerged as the early favourite to succeed Roberto de Zerbi at Brighton and remains the frontrunner in the betting at 6/4 at time of writing.

However, the departing De Zerbi is reported to have recommended fellow Italian and former colleague Francesco Farioli as his successor.

The highly rated Farioli, De Zerbi’s goalkeeper-coach at Benevento and Sassuolo in Italy, is currently boss of Nice and led them to fifth in Ligue 1 this season.

Elsewhere, according to the Evening Standard, Chelsea have sounded out McKenna and Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim's representatives as potential contingencies should Mauricio Pochettino move on this summer.

The ex-Spurs manager is set to hold talks as part of an end-of-season review in the days to come with his future in question.

The Manchester Evening News claims the Red Devils, who were first linked with McKenna last week, have also spoken to the Blues boss’s people regarding a return to Old Trafford should Erik ten Hag depart in the close season.

Should any of those clubs - or someone else - make a move for the Northern Irishman, it’s reported that the compensation due to Town has increased from £4 million to £6 million following the Blues’ promotion to the Premier League.

Asked about other clubs showing interest in the Northern Irishman by Sky News at the end of last week, Blues CEO Mark Ashton responded: "Those are challenges that success will always bring. I’d certainly rather have the challenges of success than the challenges of failure.

"But Kieran’s been great. He signed a new long-term contract last summer and he’s been in the office, he hasn’t had a day off, he’s been working by my side tirelessly on recruitment and planning and analysis and tactics for next season.”

He added: "He’s been key to us, not only is his tactical and technical ability quite incredible but his values and the way he treats people and the way we work as a team has been key and I’m sure Kieran will be excited about pitting his wits against the best coaches in the world.”

Quizzed about potential interest from other clubs and whether his job at Town isn’t yet done following the 2-0 victory over Huddersfield which secured the Blues’ promotion to the Premier League earlier this month, McKenna said: "No, I love it here, it’s a fantastic club, I’m so proud to be the manager of this football club and I’ve worked so hard at it every day, so I give so much of myself and [so have] the people around me for the last couple of years. I’m just so focused on enjoying that journey.

"That sort of speculation’s been there for the last two years, to be honest, and I’ve shown loyalty to the club through that and I’m really pleased that I’ve stuck with it and achieved what we’ve achieved. There’s some big and exciting steps to come for the football club.”

McKenna is expected at Tuesday night’s LMA Awards where he is a strong contender for the Championship honour and perhaps the overall award won by George Burley in 2001.

The Blues boss has already been named the EFL Manager of the Season.

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