Christoph Freund, the director of sports at Red Bull Salzburg, is allegedly close to joining Chelsea. Following Marina Granovskaia's departure earlier this year, the Blues have been searching for a new upstairs leader.
Todd Boehly has presided over a large summer of investment. When Granovskaia left the team in June, Boehly was named the club's interim sports director.
The Blues co-owner most recently named Graham Potter to the hot seat in place of Thomas Tuchel. When Potter first joined the team, Boehly is reported to have brought up the idea of hiring a sporting director, and several names have been proposed.
Luis Campos of Paris Saint-Germain has been heavily connected to the position, but the 58-year-old recently ruled out any possibility of leaving the Parc des Princes early.
Instead, Chelsea focused on Salzburg CEO Freund; according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the 45-year-old is going to be the new sporting director for the Blues. Romano adds that Chelsea and Freund are nearing a personal agreement, and that the Blues will now talk about a contract with Salzburg in preparation for Freund's impending move.
Erling Braut Haaland, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, and Dayot Upamecano are just a few of the elite athletes that Freund has helped get contracts for while in Salzburg.
Karim Adeyemi and Brenden Aaronson left the Austrian champions for Borussia Dortmund and Leeds United, respectively, and Freund handled the club's two most costly sales in club history.
The Austrian's contract with Salzburg is set to expire in the summer of 2026. He was promoted to his current position as sports director in 2015 after serving as a sports coordinator for three years.
Salzburg has won the Austrian Bundesliga seven times in a row and the Austrian Cup six times during Freund's leadership as sporting director, completing the double in each of the previous four seasons.
Freund wouldn't rule out accepting a job at Stamford Bridge after Salzburg and Chelsea drew 1-1 in the Champions League earlier this month. He called the Blues a "great club."
"You should never rule anything out in football and Chelsea are such a huge club. But I'm sports director in Salzburg and I really enjoy it,"
Freund told Sky Austria.
"Chelsea is a huge club in transition. I can't say exactly what will happen in the next few weeks and months."
"I've had exchanges with Chelsea from time to time. We spoke more often a month or two ago because they were interested in [Benjamin] Sesko,"
"The new owners are interested in how we do it with young players, how we integrate them into the first team. But you do that again and again with other clubs - that's it."
Following the international break, Potter, 47, will make his Premier League debut with the capital club against Crystal Palace on October 1. Potter's first game as Chelsea's manager was the draw with Salzburg.
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