Brighton transfer guru Paul Winstanley placed on gardening leave as Chelsea talks continue

Brighton transfer guru Paul Winstanley placed on gardening leave as Chelsea talks continue

Brighton's head of recruitment Paul Winstanley has been placed on gardening leave as talks continue with Chelsea over a role on transfers.

The 43-year-old has been identified by Blues co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali for their team of recruitment specialists to sign players for the future. Chelsea believe they will ultimately hire the multi-talented recruiter who has experience working with Graham Potter and his staff.

They are setting up a transfer 'think tank' inside the club that will include the newly-appointed trio of Joe Shields, Kyle Macauley and Laurence Stewart.

Macauley joined from Brighton when Potter was appointed manager, while Shields is also on gardening leave after his departure from Southampton. Stewart is the latest to arrive from Monaco and talks are ongoing about securing Christopher Vivell from RB Leipzig as a technical director.

All those involved will have input on transfers and not give anyone the overall authority to push through their signings in west London. They bring expertise from a host of clubs that the new Chelsea owners admire as they look to set up a multi-club network. Chelsea are known to have held talks with clubs in France, Belgium, Portugal and Brazil about possible takeovers.