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Michael Edwards impressed by Chelsea project but not breaking sabbatical — report

Sporting director search goes on

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2018 Liverpool Players’ Awards Red Carpet Arrivals - Anfield Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

While the focus is on transfers and the transfer market, Chelsea’s search for a sporting director rolls on in the background as well, with the club hoping to have someone in place, if not very soon, then certainly before the next transfer window in January.

However, our top target, Michael Edwards remains unavailable, despite leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. While he’s said to have been impressed by Chelsea’s new “project”, and there isn’t a no-compete clause or anything like that preventing him from joining, he’s simply not cutting his planned sabbatical short. He had decided to take a break and spend time with his young family after nearly 20 years of uninterrupted work, starting out at Portsmouth and Spurs and joining Liverpool in 2011.

As per Ben Jacobs, Chelsea threw everything but the kitchen sink at Edwards, and made an “incredible offer”, but Edwards is not ready to come back to work just yet.

The question thus becomes, do we keep waiting, or do we move on to other candidates? Monaco’s Paul Mitchell has often been mentioned as well, though it’s clear that Edwards is and has been our first choice given his success, with Chelsea’s new owners hoping to implement a working model similar to Liverpool’s.

While it’s understandable (and good!) that we would want a sporting director in place and soon — Todd Boehly did not mean to appoint himself on anything more than an interim basis to this role, and places great value on filling that position properly — if Edwards were to become available some time early next year, well in time for next summer’s transfer window, it might be worth to keep some sort of temporary structure in place.

On the other hand, we don’t want to drag things out for too long. There’s much work to be done outside of transfer windows as well, especially in terms of planning, contracts (renewals and such), and creating an overarching vision for the club’s future.

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