Chelsea: Christoph Freund refuses to rule out becoming sporting director


Christoph Freund hails Chelsea as a ‘huge club’ and admits ‘you should never rule anything out in football’… as he refuses to play down speculation linking him with taking over as sporting director at Stamford Bridge

Christoph Freund refused to rule out the prospect of joining Chelsea after emerging as a candidate in their search for a sports director.

The 45 year-old is among the names on Chelsea’s shortlist for the role and held talks after impressing in the same position for Red Bull Salzburg.

Freund was at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as the Austrian champions fought back to earn a point in their Champions League Group E meeting against Chelsea.

Christoph Freund (L) was at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, and has refused to rule out joining Chelsea as their sporting director in the future

And addressing the possibility of a move to Chelsea, Freund said: ‘You should never rule anything out in football and Chelsea are such a huge club. But I’m sports director in Salzburg and I really enjoy it.

‘Chelsea is a huge club in transition. I can’t say exactly what will happen in the next few weeks and months.’

Chelsea’s new owners hope to appoint a ‘world class’ sporting director before the World Cup starts in November and have had discussions with a number of candidates, some with Premier League experience and some who have worked at the highest level in European football.

Freund’s work at Salzburg – helping unearth and recruit a long list of players before they have gone on to become more established names and earn Salzburg significant profit, including now Manchester City striker Erling Haaland – has seen him come under consideration by the Blues’ Todd Boehly-led consortium.

Todd Boehly is considering Freund as a potential option to become Chelsea's sporting director

Todd Boehly is considering Freund as a potential option to become Chelsea’s sporting director

Freund helped discover Erling Haaland, who is now flourishing at Manchester City

Freund helped discover Erling Haaland, who is now flourishing at Manchester City

Chelsea were interested in signing another of Freund’s finds in the summer, 19 year-old Slovenian striker Benjamin Sesko, who has instead opted to stay in the Red Bull group and join Leipzig, moving to Germany next summer.

Freund confirmed to Sky Sports Austria: ‘I’ve had exchanges with Chelsea from time to time. We spoke more often a month or two ago because they were interested in Sesko.

‘The new owners are interested in how we do it with young players, how we integrate them into the first team. But you do that again and again with other clubs – that’s it.’