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Chelsea in advanced talks with Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund — reports

Recruitment department overhaul!

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FC Red Bull Salzburg v Ajax Amsterdam - Pre-Season Friendly Match Photo by Andreas Schaad - FC Red Bull Salzburg/FC Red Bull Salzburg via Getty Images

According to the Telegraph, CBS Sports, the Evening Standard and The Times, Chelsea are already in advanced negotiations to sign RB Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund. (Ed.note: incidentally, we’re playing them tomorrow night! Funny that.)

The 45-year-old has been in charge of recruitment at this key club of the Red Bull football family since 2015, and is best known for unearthing Erling Braut Haaland. He also played a pivotal role in Salzburg signing the likes of Dayot Upamecano, Amadou Haidara, Patson Daka, Karim Adeyemi, Benjamin Šeško and Brenden Aaronson.

Chelsea had been previously linked with Michael Edwards (who rejected us), Paul Mitchell (who remains at Monaco), and Luís Campos (currently advising PSG), but it looks like Freund may be our guy in the end — combining our supposed emphasis on data-driven recruiting where he made his name, with the human touch necessary to take on a leadership role across the various departments on the football side of the club, including transfers and negotiations like Marina Granovskaia used to do.

The possibility of appointing both a sporting director and a technical director has also been floated, with the latter role perhaps earmarked for Campos. Le Parisien are reporting that we have offered him a hefty salary, as well as a €300m budget to spend in the next two transfer windows.

Since Campos is with PSG on only a consultancy basis, he may be more willing to move, though we might need to pay a small compensation to them to make it happen.

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