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RB Salzburg insist guru Christoph Freund will stay on with the club despite Chelsea interest

RB Salzburg insist guru Christoph Freund will remain at the club despite Chelsea reportedly closing in on making him their new sporting director with the Austrian club insisting he will see out his deal until 2026

  • Chelsea had reportedly been close to closing a deal with the Austrian
  • RB Salzburg have come out to clarify that they do not expect him to leave
  • Todd Boehly and Chelsea are looking for a new sporting director for the club
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RB Salzburg have come out to clarify that they do not expect Christoph Freund to join Chelsea despite reports that the Austrian was close to becoming the west London club’s new sporting director.

Threatening to prolong an already messy saga, Salzburg boss Stephan Reiter has said that Freund’s move to Chelsea can ‘definitely’ be ruled out.

Speaking to Sky Sports Austria about reports that Freund was on the verge of making the leap to join Chelsea, Reiter appeared to deny any knowledge of such a deal and stressed that their sporting director was here to stay.

Christoph Freund (L) had reportedly been close to joining Chelsea in the past few weeks
Christoph Freund (L) had reportedly been close to joining Chelsea in the past few weeks

Christoph Freund (L) had reportedly been close to joining Chelsea in the past few weeks

He said: ‘I can definitely rule that out, neither Chelsea nor Christoph Freund spoke to me or the club management about anything like that.

‘Christoph has recently signed a contract with us until 2026, which applies to him as well as to players, managers or coaches.’

After experiencing a difficult summer of player recruitment, in which Chelsea at times appeared to be run ragged by clubs for their targets, their search for a new sporting director threatens to go the same way.

It now appears that RB Salzburg's sporting director will remain at the Austrian club
It now appears that RB Salzburg's sporting director will remain at the Austrian club

It now appears that RB Salzburg’s sporting director will remain at the Austrian club

It had been widely reported that Chelsea were on the verge of completing the move for Freund to join the club as its new sporting director to work alongside Graham Potter, the club’s new manager, as well as Kyle Macaulay, the recruitment expert who followed the former. -Brighton boss to Stamford Bridge.

However, Reiter’s comments appear to have removed any likelihood of the deal going through anytime soon.

Salzburg coach Matthias Jaissle has admitted he is not surprised that ‘world class teams’ are after the football guru and praised the work he has done with the Austrian side.

“Of course I noticed there were rumors, but it didn’t affect me at all,” Jaissle said.

‘He did an excellent job with Reiter and took this path here – they are doing well. It’s logical that absolutely world-class teams are interested, but I can’t say what the truth is.’

Todd Boehly and Chelsea are looking for a new sporting director to work alongside new manager Graham Potter
Todd Boehly and Chelsea are looking for a new sporting director to work alongside new manager Graham Potter

Todd Boehly and Chelsea are looking for a new sporting director to work alongside new manager Graham Potter

The appointment of a sporting director is therefore not believed to be imminent, The Athletic reported.

While Freund was their top target, interest in the bid remains high and Chelsea have drawn up a number of names.

It has been reported that Chelsea’s deadline to appoint someone for the role was at the World Cup, which starts on November 20 in Qatar, giving the club around nine weeks to find someone.

Last week, Freund himself commented on the speculation surrounding his future, telling Sky Sports Austria: ‘Chelsea is a huge club in transition.

‘I can’t say exactly what will happen in the next few weeks and months. You should never rule anything out in football and Chelsea is such a huge club.

‘But I am the sporting director of Salzburg and I really enjoy it.’

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