Chelsea hold talks with Christoph Freund in sporting director search

Christophe Freund is on Chelsea's radar
Christophe Freund is on Chelsea's radar / Guenther Iby/GettyImages

Chelsea are progressing with their search for a new sporting director with Red Bull Salzburg’s Christoph Freund among the leading contenders, 90min understands.

Blues co-owner Todd Boehly is leading the search for a sporting director, a role which he currently holds on an interim basis.

Boehly and the club’s new hierarchy know the path they want to take and that meant a changing of manager with Graham Potter replacing Thomas Tuchel, but a big part of that is also recruitment.

90min understands Boehly wants the club’s new sporting director to be their footballing lead - including on transfers - but he will only head up a team that will include Potter and his recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay. Chelsea have not ruled out adding a number of different options to their recruiting staff aside from just a sporting director.

Chelsea’s first choice was former Liverpool chief Michael Edwards, who has told Boehly he was not ready to return to football just yet after his summer departure from Anfield. 90min understands at Stamford Bridge would like the club to wait for him, even if that meant until next summer, but that remains unlikely at this point.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Luis Campos, who is technically only a football advisor with the club, has been spoken to about a move, along with a number of others around Europe. That includes Freund, who has an impressive CV from his time in the Red Bull organisation.

Freund has been hugely successful at Salzburg and in July this year signed a new four-year deal, but seeing off Chelsea’s possible overtures will not be easy. It is understood the Austrian has already held talks and was keen to listen to what the west London giants were proposing and their future project.

Another name that Chelsea are talking to is Monaco’s Paul Mitchell, who was also very much on Manchester United’s radar in recent times.

Mitchell has extensive experience within England with MK Dons, Southampton and Tottenham, before moving to RB Leipzig and then Monaco in 2020. The experience of Freund and Mitchell working with clubs who have multiple teams under one umbrella - such is Boehly’s ambition for Chelsea - is understood to be a big appeal to Chelsea.