Christoph Freund, the director of Red Bull Salzburg, has acknowledged that he turned down the opportunity to join Chelsea’s hiring staff.
Earlier this week, the Blues and Freund reached a personal agreement; however, Salzburg later went public to emphasise that they had not been contacted and insisted that the sporting director would stay.
Chelsea’s advances have now been mutually confirmed by Salzburg and Freund.
“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.”
Chelsea reportedly believed a deal for Freund would be finalised this week and was taken aback by the choice after learning on Tuesday that Freund had changed his mind and was hesitant to break 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 has been in discussions with Paul Mitchell of Monaco, one of the potential candidates.