Christoph Freund has refused to become Chelsea’s new sporting director in order to stay with FC Salzburg.
Freund was set to become the second key appointment made by Chelsea owner Todd Boehly in recent weeks, following that of head coach Graham Potter following the sacking of manager Thomas Tuchel.
Freund has held talks with Boehly, as well as co-owner Behdad Eghbali, and is said to have impressed the Chelsea hierarchy with his ideas for the club after being approached to fill the vacant position.
But Freund has now confirmed he will stay at Salzburg, leaving Chelsea to go in search of a new sporting director, a position Boehly has held on an interim basis since Marina Granovskaia’s departure.
“As I have already confirmed in interviews, Chelsea FC were interested in me,” Freund said on Tuesday.
“When such a big club asks for it, not only does it honor me and the work of FC Red Bull Salzburg, but it is of course also a circumstance that involves personal considerations. But I have come to the conclusion that I am in good hands with FC Red Bull Salzburg and a change is out of the question for me.
“We are in the middle of a very intense phase and have important tasks ahead in the Austrian Bundesliga, the Cup and the Champions League, that’s what I focus and focus on.”
FC Salzburg General Manager Stephan Reiter added: “Christoph Freund has been doing a great job with us for many years and recently extended his contract until 2026. I can hereby confirm that he will continue to be the sporting director of FC Red Bull Salzburg.
“Of course he informed me of Chelsea’s interest in him and we exchanged views on a personal level and in good conversations. The fact is that he will continue to be our sporting director. He did not ask us to leave.
Freund was at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with FC Salzburg in the Champions League earlier this month, in what was Potter’s first game in charge. Chelsea will face FC Salzburg in the second leg on October 25.