Red Bull Salzburg chief Stephan Reiter has responded to claims that Chelsea are set to poach Christoph Freund as their sporting director.
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly wants Freund to work closely with him and his new Stamford Bridge manager, Graham Potter.
Boehly has been acting as Chelsea’s interim sporting director since June but both the American and Potter are keen to bring someone in on a full-time basis.
Chelsea have identified Freund, 45, as their top target for the position and recent reports claimed the Premier League club were close to reaching an agreement with both the Austrian and his club, RB Salzburg.
But Salzburg managing director Reiter is confident Freund will not depart, potentially leaving Chelsea looking elsewhere for a new sporting director.
‘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 Sport Austria.
‘Christoph recently signed a contract with us until 2026, which applies to him as well as to players, managers or coaches.’
Red Bull Salzburg boss Matthias Jaissle, meanwhile, has said he is not surprised to see Freund linked with other jobs.
‘Of course, I noticed that there were rumours, but that didn’t affect me at all,’ Jaissle said.
‘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.’
Freund was in the stands during Red Bull Salzburg’s Champions League draw with Chelsea last week.
The European clash was Graham Potter’s first match in charge of the Blues following Thomas Tuchel’s sacking at Stamford Bridge.
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