In a surprise move, Christoph Freund turned down Chelsea for the role of sporting director and opted to stay at RB Salzburg. After new owner Todd Boehly’s summer of spending, the team is currently looking to build a front office and to hire somebody to oversee the sporting area of the club. While Boehly was clear willing to splash the cash this summer, his relative lack of experience meant the club was often fighting an uphill battle as it pursued some of Europe’s biggest names. The owner is looking for a director who can potentially work with multiple clubs, as Boehly himself announced his ownership group is interested in building a multi-team ownership model like the one of Manchester City or the Red Bull group.
That made Freund seem like he could become the perfect match for this role, but ultimately the Austrian has decided to stay at Salzburg where he has been extremely effective at discovering new talents, the club announced, bringing them in and selling them on for profits making the team not only exciting and competitive and profitable. And now, instead of leaving, he’ll stay on despite having reached an agreement with Chelsea on a prospective contract last Sunday, according to CBS Soccer insider Fabrizio Romano.
“As I have already confirmed in interviews, Chelsea have been interested in hiring me. When a big club like that shows interest, it is an honor not only for me and the work of FC Red Bull Salzburg, it is also a situation that requires a number of personal considerations,” Freund said in a statement. “I came to the conclusion that I am in the best place at FC Red Bull Salzburg, and a move was out of the question for me. We are in the middle of a really intensive phase, and we have big challenges ahead in the Austrian Bundesliga, Cup and Champions League – my full focus and concentration are directed on those now.”
Chelsea will now continue on their search for the new sport director as they look to find the right person for this crucial role, and work with the newly appointed head coach Graham Potter who replaced Thomas Tuchel on the sidelines for Chelsea.