Red Bull Salzburg have said they ‘expect’ Christoph Freund to stay at the club, despite the 45-year-old agreeing to become Chelsea’s new sporting director.
Chelsea have undergone significant change at every level in recent months following the completion of Todd Boehly’s takeover. Former executives Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech both left at the start of the summer, while head coach Thomas Tuchel was sacked 11 days ago.
Boehly himself has been serving as interim sporting director but it looked as though longer-term progress was being as sources confirmed to 90min that an agreement had been reached with Freund to take the important role on – Chelsea had earlier been knocked back in their efforts to recruit revered ex-Liverpool chief Michael Edwards.
But Salzburg are now digging in over Freund, claiming to have had no contact from Chelsea even if Freund himself has been in touch with the Blues.
“FC Red Bull Salzburg has never been contacted from Chelsea to talk about any transfer details of Christoph Freund. We expect him to stay,” read a statement issued to journalist Ben Jacobs.
Speaking to Sky Sport Austria, Salzburg chief executive Stephan Reiter elaborated: 'I can definitely rule that out, neither Chelsea nor Christoph Freund spoke to me or the club management about something like that.
“Christoph recently signed a contract with us until 2026, which applies to him as well as to players, managers or coaches.”
Nevertheless, 90min understands Freund remains in line for a move to Stamford Bridge, with Salzburg set for a sizeable compensation package.