Date: 19th September 2022 at 4:36pm
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Chelsea are close to appointing Christoph Freund as the club’s new sporting director, according to reports. 

As per Fabrizio Romano, the Austrian’s current club RB Salzburg have been informed that Freund is close to agreeing a deal with The Blues.

The 45-year-old will join the Premier League side soon, ending his seven year spell as sporting director at the Austrian club.

During his time in the role, Freund has overseen the signings of several players  that have gone on to become high profile including Sadio Mane, Erling Haaland, Dayot Upamecano and Naby Keita.

Haaland joined Salzburg in January 2019 for a fee of around £7 million and he was sold to Borussia Dortmund just 12 months later for more than double that amount, having scored 29 goals in 27 games for the club.

According to The Evening Standard, new Chelsea manager Graham Potter was asked his opinion on the proposed appointment before Todd Boehly moved for Freund.

Salzburg have enjoyed success during Freund’s tenure

The report also suggests that those in charge of the club are hopeful that the Austrian’s ability to create strong personal bonds with players is something that will work well alongside Potter’s coaching style.

Co-owners Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have been busy since acquiring the club over the summer, with the former appointing himself as interim sporting director during the transfer window as he and then-manager Thomas Tuchel took charge of The Blues’ transfer dealings.

The plan was always to appoint an experienced director, though, and Chelsea now appear to be close to doing so.

Potter’s first match in charge of Chelsea was against Freund’s Salzburg side, with the two teams playing out a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last Wednesday.

It is also claimed in the Evening Standard report that Chelsea’s current squad are encouraged by the speed at which Boehly has re-built the club’s off-field structure.

The American parted ways with Tuchel earlier this month after a poor start to the campaign, and quickly moved to appoint Potter as his successor on a long-term deal.

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