Brighton have given Chelsea permission to speak to Graham Potter about the vacant manager’s job at Stamford Bridge.
Potter has become the early favourite for the Chelsea helm after the Blues sacked Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday morning.
The 47-year-old Seagulls manager has a hefty compensation clause in his Amex Stadium deal, but Chelsea’s new owners are understood to be relaxed about meeting a buyout.
Chelsea’s new chiefs sacked Tuchel on Wednesday morning, just hours after the Blues’ chastening 1-0 UEFA Champions League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb.
Owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali were understood to have already made the decision to unseat Tuchel ahead of that loss in Croatia.
The ambitious US owners are understood to have felt they could not wait any longer to take action.
They have fears about the Blues losing further ground on English Premier League powers Manchester City and Liverpool.
Boehly and Eghbali will now approach and interview a small number of candidates, with Brighton’s Potter chief among a tight group of names.
Former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino and ex-Real Madrid chief Zinedine Zidane are also thought to be in consideration.