Chelsea-linked Freund to remain Salzburg's sporting director

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Chelsea target Christoph Freund will remain in his role as Salzburg's sporting director, the Austrian club confirmed.

Freund and Blues owner Todd Boehly had reached a verbal agreement for the 45-year-old to join Chelsea, reports on Monday stated, but no move will take place.

Salzburg confirmed on Tuesday Freund will stay at the club in the position in which he succeeded Ralf Rangnick in the 2015-16 season.

In a statement on the official club website, general manager Stephan Reiter said: "Christoph Freund has been performing wonderful work for us for many years, and only recently extended his contract to 2026.

"I can hereby confirm that he will remain FC Red Bull Salzburg sporting director. He informed me about the interest of Chelsea, of course, and we have spoken about it on a personal level with some good discussions.

"The fact is that he will remain our sporting director! He has not made a request with us to leave."

Freund himself added: "As I have already confirmed in interviews, Chelsea have been interested in hiring me.

"When a big club like that shows interest, it is an honour not only for me and the work of FC Red Bull Salzburg, it is also a situation that requires a number of personal considerations.

"I came to the conclusion that I am in the best place at FC Red Bull Salzburg, and a move was out of the question for me.

"We are in the middle of a really intensive phase, and we have big challenges ahead in the Austrian Bundesliga, Cup and Champions League – my full focus and concentration are directed on those now."