Soccer

Christoph Freund in contention for Chelsea sporting director role

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Chelsea are in talks with RB Salzburg’s Christoph Freund over becoming the Blues’ new sporting director, the PA news agency understands.

New Chelsea owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are pushing to fill the sporting director role before the Qatar World Cup kicks off in November.

And Salzburg director Freund is now understood to be among the top candidates.

Chelsea are also thought to have been in talks with Portuguese executive Luis Campos, who works as an advisor to Paris St Germain.

The Blues could yet look to add two new faces to their off-field technical set-up, it is understood, which could open the door for both Freund and Campos at Stamford Bridge.

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Chelsea will face Freund’s Salzburg side in Wednesday’s Champions League clash at Stamford Bridge, with new boss Graham Potter getting his first taste of top-level European club competition.

Chelsea chairman Boehly has spoken of his admiration for the multi-club model, wanting the Blues to replicate that in west London.

The Blues’ new consortium owners are determined to build a formidable off-field set-up and are actively setting about bolstering their structure.

Thomas Tuchel paid the price with his job for failing to share Boehly and Eghbali’s long-term vision for Chelsea’s future.

Former Brighton boss Potter’s man-management and emotional intelligence have been highly praised by Chelsea’s new owners.

But the 47-year-old remains acutely aware results on the pitch will trump all else.

Potter has brought his recruitment specialist Kyle Macaulay with him from Brighton to Chelsea.

And the Solihull-born coach admitted Macaulay will provide a vital link between the boot room and the board room.

“I’m here to help the football club wherever I can, and I’ve always taken that approach,” said Potter.

“The club is always the most important thing; we’re here to serve the club.

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“Kyle is really important for me in terms of recruitment though. A lot of the conversations that need to be had internally, I think they can be had via him – he knows me well and knows what I want to say. He knows the culture and the environment.

“Those conversations can be quite time-consuming. So he’s really, really important to me.”

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