Premier League • England

Chelsea in new contact with transformative Liverpool figure – but Todd Boehly approach gets tepid response

Todd Boehly, Chelsea chairman, after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea are reaching out for a second time to Michael Edwards in an effort to persuade him to take up their vacant sporting director role – but a savvy new offer has seemingly once again failed to lure him to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have been operating without a figurehead in charge of transfers ever since Marina Granavskaia followed Roman Abramovic out the door. As such, the role has been done on an interim basis by new chairman Todd Boehly since his group’s takeover.

To be fair to Boehly, he’s not done a bad job with the Blues spending £272m on new players over the summer. Indeed, the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana all arrived for figures over £50m.

But without a specialist operating in the position, there remains a general feeling that Chelsea may have overspent on one or two of those signings. Indeed, Gary Neville has savagely pointed the finger at Boehly and his actions following his takeover at Stamford Bridge and with regards some of his signings.

Boehly, however, is well aware of his limitations of occupying the role for the forseeable future and is keen to get a new person in place. His initial top target was former Liverpool sporting director Edwards.

Edwards is the man revered as transforming the Reds, working alongside manager Jurgen Klopp.

He is credited with the man who brought Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah – against Klopp’s better judgement – Alisson and Virgil van Dijk to Anfield.

Furthermore, he is also the person who negotiated the hefty £142m package that took Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

However, having freshly departed Anfield after 10 years this summer, Edwards appears in no hurry to take up a new role.

Chelsea want Michael Edwards in dream partnership

Indeed, Chelsea first approached Edwards when it became apparent he was leaving Anfield.

However, the 43-year-old is adamant he would not take up a new job this calendar year.

The Blues have since shifted their focus to appointing a new technical director instead. The role – previously filled by Petr Cech – is likely to be handed to Christopher Vivell, following his swift departure from RB Leipzig.

Now Boehly hopes that the promise of working alongside Vivell will be enough to persuade Edwards.

As such, 90min report that Boehly held a fresh round of talks with Edwards earlier this month. However, much to their disappointment, Edwards has responded with only a tepid answer.

While he’s reportedly interested in the role, Edwards is adamant he will not return to work before 2022 is out. To that end, Chelsea are unlikely to have Edwards in place in time for the January transfer window.

However, the report claims Boehly is now talking with Edwards over a deal from 1 July 2023.

It remains unclear if the two parties can agree to such a deal. As a result, the Blues continue to explore other potential appointments.

But Boehly could decide to continue in the interim role through January. That would hopefully then see Edwards taking over once the 2022/23 season is out.

Blues likely to wait to get their man

Edwards clearly is a man worth waiting for. The effect of his Liverpool reign served the club incredibly well. And despite their struggles this season, is something they will surely benefit from for years.

Indeed, he struck gold with a number of Liverpool signings, including this ridiculous arrangement for Diogo Jota.

Liverpool clearly needed a new midfielder over the summer. But with Edwards no longer at the helm, the capture of their top target – Aurelien Tchouameni – slipped the Reds by. His successor Julian Ward did, though, manage to sign Darwin Nunez. However, the jury remains out over whether the Uruguayan will prove a success.

As such, Chelsea may be preparing to wait to land their man.

But given the Blues are close to appointing Vivell, they can probably plug any gaps until then.

If he is really the man Boehly wants – and he’s shown that money is no object – then Chelsea will have to wait.

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