Chelsea are poised to take Christoph Freund from Red Bull Salzburg as their sporting director. An agreement is close on personal terms with the 45-year-old and talks are underway with the Austrian club to close a deal.
Freund holds the same role at Salzburg and Chelsea’s co-owner Todd Boehly, who appointed himself as interim sporting director in June, wants Freund to work closely with him and the new manager, Graham Potter.
Freund was behind the arrival at Salzburg of players such as Erling Haaland, Sadio Mané, Naby Keïta and Dayot Upamecano, and his talent-spotting and use of data have attracted Chelsea’s attention.
When Freund was asked recently about a possible move to Chelsea he described them as “a huge club in transition”. He prefers to work behind the scenes rather than seek a high profile and is regarded as adept at managing key relationships within a club and with agents.
Freund rejected previous opportunities to leave Salzburg but has been clear regarding his desire to join Chelsea. He has been Salzburg’s sporting director since 2015 and held other roles at the club before that.
Chelsea are in a Champions League group with Salzburg and drew 1-1 with them at Stamford Bridge last Wednesday in Potter’s first game.