Red Bull Salzburg director Christoph Freund has confirmed that he has rejected the chance to join Chelsea’s recruitment team.
The Blues reached an agreement over personal terms with Freund earlier this week but Salzburg later went public to stress that they had not been contacted and insisted that the sporting director would remain.
Now, Salzburg and Freund have mutually confirmed that Chelsea’s advances have been rejected.
“As I have confirmed already, Chelsea were interested in me,” Freund explained. “When such a big club asks, it not only honours me and the work of FC Red Bull Salzburg, it is also of course a circumstance that entails personal consideration.
“But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m in the best of hands with FC Red Bull Salzburg and that a change is out of the question for me.”
We understand that Chelsea were confident that a deal for Freund would be wrapped up this week and have been left surprised by the decision, having been informed on Tuesday that Freund had changed his mind and was reluctant to go back on his new contract.
Salzburg’s managing director Stephan Reiter added: “Christoph Freund has been doing excellent work for us for many years and only recently extended his contract until 2026. I can hereby confirm that he will remain sporting director of FC Red Bull Salzburg.
“Of course, he informed me about Chelsea’s interest in him and we exchanged ideas on a personal level and in good conversations.
“The fact is that he will remain our sporting director! We have not received any inquiries about a possible change.”
Chelsea have been holding talks with a number of potential candidates for the role, including Monaco’s Paul Mitchell, whom 90min understands is keen on the move to Stamford Bridge.