“It’s true that Chelsea wanted me…but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m in good hands with Salzburg”: Christoph Freund confirms he’s downgraded his chance of becoming sporting director at Stamford Bridge… in a major blow to owner Todd Boley
- Freund, 45, said he is happy to remain in his current position in Austria with RB Salzburg
- He singles out Chelsea Freund as the perfect name to work alongside Graham Potter
- Todd Boley will be looking for alternative names, including Monaco’s Paul Mitchell
- Freund’s decision not to join the club is a huge blow to the club
Chelsea suffered another blow in their search for a sporting director after top candidate Christoph Freund opted to stay at Red Bull Salzburg.
The Blues were upbeat after talks with the Austrian, 45, who helped recruit stars including Sadio Mane and Erling Haaland in Salzburg.
But Freund confirmed he would stay with the Austrian champions, who drew with Chelsea in the Champions League last week.
Christoph Freund has turned down the role of Chelsea sporting director to stay with Salzburg
The blues will now turn their attention to other names, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Tim Stedeten on the list.
Another Chelsea target, former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards, had already said he would take a break from the match after leaving Anfield at the end of last season.
Chelsea are hoping to appoint their new sporting director with the help of new manager Graham Potter ahead of the World Cup. They can also add an art director.
“Yes, it’s true that Chelsea wanted me and we had conversations,” Freund confirmed.
When such a big club asks not only to honor me and honor the work of Salzburg, it is, of course, a circumstance that involves personal considerations.
But I have come to the conclusion that I am in good hands with Salzburg and that change is out of the question for me.
“I was thinking of a job as a Chelsea manager because I was proud of the interest shown by this great club.”
Red Bull boss Stefan Reiter, who claimed on Monday he had not received any official contact, added: “Of course Freund told me about Chelsea and we exchanged ideas on a personal level and had good conversations, but the truth is that he will still be our sports manager.”
Freund was thought to be a good fit to work alongside new Chelsea boss Graham Potter
The 45-year-old will remain in Austria alongside Red Bull boss Stefan Reiter (right)
The Blues chiefs considered Freund a good fit for Chelsea, and admired his cunning, bold ideas and passion.
They felt that, having caught the eye in Salzburg, Freund would have gotten along well with the new coaching staff headed by newly appointed manager Graham Potter.
Freund has the approval of Chelsea president Graham Potter and recruitment specialist Kyle McCauley.
Chelsea They haven’t given up completely but are also looking at other options. Paul Mitchell, of Monaco, is also thought to be a big deal.
Owner Todd Boley is currently doing the job himself on a temporary basis, but the club will now continue talks with alternative candidates for a sporting director.
Chelsea owner Todd Boley (right) will now have to search for alternate names for the sporting director