Premier League • England

Prime Chelsea candidate for sporting director vacancy ruled out by current club official after timely reminder about future

Christoph Freund February 2022

RB Salzburg are unaware of any plans for sporting director Christoph Freund to join Chelsea, as recently detailed by his colleague Stephan Reiter.

It has been all change at Chelsea over the past few months. First, owner Roman Abramovich relinquished his control of the club and Todd Boehly took over. Immediately, there was a critical transfer window to focus on.

The club made several changes to their playing squad; the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Timo Werner and Marcos Alonso left, while the headline arrivals included Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana.

All of a sudden, Boehly then dismissed head coach Thomas Tuchel in early September. The next step was to bring in Graham Potter from Brighton and Hove Albion as Tuchel’s replacement.

Now, Chelsea are trying to find a sporting director to work alongside Potter in shaping the squad. After all, they lost the services of Marina Granovskaia earlier this year and had to rely on Boehly himself as an interim replacement throughout the summer.

Before the next transfer window in January, it would help Chelsea to have someone with more specific expertise in place for transfer negotiations and other associated duties.

In that regard, they have identified Christoph Freund as someone they would like to appoint. The 45-year-old has been working in a similar role for RB Leipzig since 2015.

In that time, Freund has made some notable signings. The likes of Erling Haaland and Brenden Aaronson have ended up as big names in the Premier League, while Karim Adeyemi and Benjamin Sesko are two other players to have developed into marketable prospects with the Austrian side in recent years.

RB Salzburg official reacts to Christoph Freund speculation

Hence, Freund could be a good collaborator for Chelsea. However, knowledge of their interest within Salzburg has now been denied.

Their managing director Stephan Reiter has told Sky Sport Austria: “I can definitely rule that out. Neither Chelsea nor Christoph Freund spoke to me or the club management about something like that.

“Christoph recently signed a contract with us until 2026, which applies to him as well as to players, managers or coaches.”

And head coach Matthias Jaissle has added: “Of course, I noticed that there were rumours, but that didn’t affect me at all.

“He did an outstanding job together with Reiter and took this path here; they’re doing great. It’s logical that absolute world-class teams are interested, but I can’t say what the truth is.”

Hence, it appears RB Salzburg are not expecting to lose Freund’s services. In turn, Chelsea might have to look elsewhere for a sporting director despite their previous optimism.

It might not yet be the end of the story for Freund and Chelsea. The Premier League side are a powerful club who can attract elite players, coaches and staff members whom other clubs will not want to lose.

But there seems to be a belief at RB Salzburg that they can be fended off when it comes to Freund.

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