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Joe Shields agrees to join Chelsea from Southampton as ‘co-director of recruitment’ — report

Recruiting the recruiters

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Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

If Joe Shields were a player, the great narrative in the sky would say that he’s had his head turned by Chelsea. But Joe Shields isn’t a player, so he’s simply made a career choice like any other professional in any other field of employ might when a better offer comes along.

And so, even though Shields only just joined Southampton in the summer, from Manchester City, he’s reportedly agreed to make the switch to Chelsea instead. (And his first order of business has been to confirm that the extra silly story of Chelsea bidding £50m for Roméo Lavia was indeed just silly nonsense.)

It’s a slightly awkward situation of course, with Southampton apparently already placing Shields on administrative leave yesterday following Chelsea’s (surprise) approach. Should he officially accept, the move could be subject to a lengthy notice period and gardening leave, perhaps as much as six months, though according to The Athletic, Southampton might be willing to reduce that in exchange for cold hard cash.

Shields’ experience and zone of comfort is mostly in youth and academy recruiting, which is apparently also why he’s set to join only as a “co-director” of sport, recruiting, talent, whatever we want to call it. According to the Telegraph, we could be looking to add as many as four (4!) new people in the coming months (including technical director Christopher Vivell, and perhaps Stuart Webber, currently the Norwich City technical director), as we continue to revamp the entire behind-the-scenes operation.

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