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Sporting director who discovered Erling Haaland responds to Chelsea links

Christoph Freund refused to rule out the prospect of joining after emerging as a candidate in their search for a sports director.

The 45 year-old is among the names on Chelsea’s shortlist for the role and held talks after impressing in the same position for Red Bull Salzburg.

Freund was at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as the Austrian champions fought back to earn a point in their Champions League Group E meeting against Chelsea.

And addressing the possibility of a move to Chelsea, Freund said: ‘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.

‘Chelsea is a huge club in transition. I can’t say exactly what will happen in the next few weeks and months.’

Chelsea’s new owners hope to appoint a ‘world class’ sporting director before the starts in November and have had discussions with a number of candidates, some with Premier League experience and some who have worked at the highest level in European football.

Freund’s work at Salzburg – helping unearth and recruit a long list of players before they have gone on to become more established names and earn Salzburg significant profit, including now striker Erling Haaland – has seen him come under consideration by the Blues’ Todd Boehly-led consortium.

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