Red Bull Salzburg chief Stephan Reiter has played down reports suggesting that sporting director Christoph Freund has agreed to join Chelsea.
The 45-year-old has been identified by Blues co-owner Todd Boehly as a potential candidate to succeed former sporting director Marina Granovskaia, who left her post at the end of June.
A recent report claims that Freund has verbally agreed to move to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea’s hierarchy excited by the prospect of the Austrian working closely with new head coach Graham Potter.
However, Reiter insists that there is no agreement in place for Freund to join the West Londoners and is confident that he will remain with Salzburg.
“I can definitely rule that out, neither Chelsea nor Christoph Freund spoke to me or the club management about something like that,” Reiter told Sky Austria, via Metro.
“Christoph recently signed a contract with us until 2026, which applies to him as well as to players, managers or coaches.”
Salzburg head coach Matthias Jaissle has admitted that he is not surprised to see Freund’s name linked with other clubs.
“Of course, I noticed that there were rumours, but that didn’t affect me at all,” Jaissle told reporters.
“He did an outstanding job together with Reiter and took this path here – they’re doing great. It’s logical that absolute world-class teams are interested, but I can’t say what the truth is.”
Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw at home against Salzburg in the Champions League last Wednesday, and speaking after the match, Freund refused to rule out the prospect of linking up with Boehly at Stamford Bridge.
“You should never rule anything out in football and Chelsea are such a huge club. But I’m sports director in Salzburg and I really enjoy it,” Freund told Sky Austria. “Chelsea is a huge club in transition. I can’t say exactly what will happen in the next few weeks and months.”
“I’ve had exchanges with Chelsea from time to time. We spoke more often a month or two ago because they were interested in [Benjamin] Sesko,” Freund added. “The new owners are interested in how we do it with young players, how we integrate them into the first team. But you do that again and again with other clubs – that’s it.”
Chelsea have also been linked with RB Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff, but a recent report claims that both parties have mutually agreed to end talks regarding the sporting director vacancy.
Another name who has been in the frame is Paris Saint-Germain‘s Luis Campos, but the 58-year-old has recently shut down speculation linking him with a switch to West London.