Freund will join Chelsea and relieve interim sporting director Todd Boehly of his duties. Freund leaves Salzburg after seven years as sporting director.
The 45-year-old has impressive finds such as Dayot Upamecano, Erling Braut Haaland, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Benjamin Sesko on his CV.
Boehly has praised the Red Bull model of having a network of clubs around the globe. The LA Dodgers co-owner wants to establish a similar multi-club model at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking on the Blues’ interest in poaching him, Freund said (via Daily Mail): “I’ve had exchanges with Chelsea from time to time. We spoke a lot more a month or two ago because they were interested in signing Benjamin Sesko.
“The new owners are interested in how we do things with young players. How we integrate them into the first team. Chelsea is a huge club in transition. I can’t say exactly what will happen in the next few weeks and months.”
Chelsea are now close to installing the Salzburg boss in London. He will oversee transfers and reshape the club’s approach in the market.
Freund will bring a data-based approach that Boehly is interested in. He will also have the approval of new Chelsea boss Graham Potter.
Chelsea pushed to sign former Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards for the role, but he insisted he wanted a break from football.
With Freund set to take charge, he will give the club better direction in the transfer market. Chelsea seemed to lack cohesion in the recent transfer window.
Chelsea missed out on several key targets and were haphazard in their dealings. Freund will bring a more structured approach to signing and selling players.
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