Chelsea advance towards sporting director hire, as latest candidate ticks major Boehly box

Todd Boehly, Chelsea owner June 2022

Chelsea will soon hold fresh talks with Tim Steidten in their efforts to convince him to leave Bayer Leverkusen and become their new sporting director.

The Blues used recently-appointed owner Todd Boehly as their interim sporting director over the summer. He caught the eye by spending the most money any Premier League club has in a summer window.

And the American businessman cast his net far and wide to add signings from across Europe. Boehly secured the additions of the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona and Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.

However, Boehly wants a proper structure in place at Chelsea – and that means appointing a sporting director.

The Blues tried and failed to sign Christoph Freund from RB Leipzig. The 45-year-old Austrian insisted he feels “in the best hands” with Salzburg.

After further frustrations with Leeds United’s Victor Orta, Chelsea have focused their attention on Leverkusen’s Steidten.

According to The Guardian, Chelsea are planning further talks with the 43-year-old to try to tempt him to Stamford Bridge.

The newspaper claims the London club have already held ‘positive’ talks with Steidten and hope to advance discussions.

And the fact that he is good with data reportedly appeals to Boehly, who wants his sporting director to focus on data and recruitment.

Steidten, formerly of Werder Bremen elsewhere in his native Germany, moved to Leverkusen in 2019. He initially worked in their scouting department before taking up the sporting director role in 2021.

The Guardian adds that Chelsea have made it a prerequisite that whoever their new sporting director is, forms a strong working relationship with Kyle Macaulay.

Macaulay is Chelsea manager Graham Potter’s chief recruitment analyst and right-hand man, with the pair previously working together at Brighton.

Steidten recently worked with Chelsea to help Callum Hudson-Odoi seal a loan move to Leverkusen.

Chelsea reshuffle continues behind the scenes

The Guardian adds in its report that Boehly is continuing to oversee a major reshuffle of his club.

Chelsea have told head physio Thierry Laurent he is free to leave after 17 years with the team.

Furthermore, club doctor Paco Biosca is also departing as Boehly and his Clearlake Capital partners look to restructure the club.

In the summer, Petr Cech left as Chelsea’s technical director and Marina Granovskaia, who chiefly dealt with transfers, also departed.

Last week, commercial director Darren Willoughby was dismissed for sending “inappropriate messages”. And director of communications Steve Atkins will leave in December.

Boehly also wants a new technical director in place at Chelsea.

Blues looking to get structure right

It has been a turbulent time for Chelsea ever since the Ukraine-Russia war broke out earlier this year.

Roman Abramovich had his assets seized and the future of the club remained unclear for a while.

However, Boehly has announced himself in style with that record summer investment.

It still feels as if Chelsea’s new regime feels rough round the edges, though. Boehly has yet to find a sporting director and, amid a reshuffle elsewhere, there are several other roles to fill.

The ultimate aim is for Chelsea to return to a stable structure behind the scenes, which can then prompt on-field success.

There are countless examples of a proper structure leading to silverware, with Liverpool and Manchester City prime examples.

Chelsea are looking to challenge the top two and Boehly knows he has to get his recruitment decisions right.