Christoph Freund: Chelsea target turns down sporting director role to stay at FC Salzburg

Freund said a change of clubs was ‘out of the question’, leaving Chelsea to start again in their search for a sporting director

Jamie Braidwood
Tuesday 20 September 2022 17:20 BST
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<p>Christoph Freund impressed Chelsea during talks and was favourite to be named as sporting director  </p>

Christoph Freund impressed Chelsea during talks and was favourite to be named as sporting director

Christoph Freund has turned down the chance to become Chelsea’s new sporting director in order to stay with FC Salzburg.

Freund was set to become the second key appointment made by Chelsea owner Todd Boehly in recent weeks, following that of head coach Graham Potter after the sacking of manager Thomas Tuchel .

Freund held talks with Boehly, along with co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali, and had reportedly impressed the Chelsea hierarchy with his ideas for the club after being approached to fill the vacant role.

But Freund has now confirmed that he will stay at Salzburg, leaving Chelsea to start again in their search for a new sporting director, a position Boehly has held on an interim basis since the departure of Marina Granovskaia.

“As I have already confirmed in interviews, Chelsea FC was interested in me,” Freund said on Tuesday.

“When such a big club asks, it not only honours me and the work of FC Red Bull Salzburg, it is of course also a circumstance that entails personal considerations. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m in the best of hands with FC Red Bull Salzburg and that a change is out of the question for me.

“We’re in the middle of a very intense phase and have important tasks to do in the Austrian Bundesliga, Cup and Champions League, that’s what my focus and concentration are all on.”

FC Salzburg’s general manager Stephan Reiter added: “Christoph Freund has been doing an excellent job with us for many years and has recently extended his contract until 2026. I can hereby confirm that he will continue to be sporting director of FC Red Bull Salzburg.

“Of course, he informed me about Chelsea’s interest in him and we exchanged views on a personal level and in good conversations. The fact is that he will continue to be our sporting director. He has not made a request with us to leave.”

Freund was at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with FC Salzburg in the Champions League earlier this month, in what was Potter’s first match in charge. Chelsea will face FC Salzburg in the return match on 25 October.

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