Former Chelsea boss rejects return to club football as England rumours intensify

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Lyon have missed out in their attempts to appoint a former Chelsea manager

A former Chelsea head coach has rejected the chance to return to club football with a major European giant as he continues to be touted as the next England manager.

Graham Potter was dismissed by Chelsea in April after a disappointing 31-game stint which saw him record just 12 victories in all competitions.

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Prior to his arrival at Stamford Bridge, Potter was viewed as one of the brightest young managers in world football. He was praised for his eye-catching style of play at Brighton and his ability to develop and improve young players.

Potter led the Seagulls to a then record high finish of 9th in the Premier League during the 2021/22 season and laid the foundations for a European finish under successor Roberto De Zerbi.

The 48-year-old is also credited with successful stints at Championship side Swansea City and Swedish outfit Ostersunds FK, who progressed from the fourth tier to the top-flight under Potters’ stewardship.

The English coach has been out of football since April when he was dismissed from West London and he has been heavily linked with a return to club management. Potter reportedly turned down the chance to join Leicester City at the end of last season and has recently declined the opportunity to join seven-time French champions Lyon.

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Lyon are currently managed by former Man Utd defender Laurent Blanc, but his job is in great jeopardy after a 4-1 defeat to PSG and the French side currently sit bottom of Ligue 1 with one point from four matches.

Potter was a top target to replace Blanc at the Groupama Stadium but he has declined the chance to replace Blanc, according to football journalist David Ornstein of The Athletic.

Ornstein tweeted: “Graham Potter has declined chance to replace Laurent Blanc as Lyon head coach. 48yo approached + top target for #OlympiqueLyonnais - saw as appealing but decided not right time to return. Continues to evaluate future after leaving Chelsea.”

This has prompted speculation of a potential move to the England national team in the near future. 

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Earlier this week, the Daily Mail reported that the FA are conscious of the uncertainty surrounding Gareth Southgate who may step down at the end of Euro 2024.

The report adds that the FA’s dream appointment is Pep Guardiola, however it remains unclear whether they will be able to prize him away from Manchester City.

But the bookmakers have a different view on the future of England and SkyBet have placed Graham Potter as the odds-on favourite to replace Southgate at odds of 7/1.

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