Todd Boehly sets timescale on new Chelsea sporting director with mystery man on shortlist

·4-min read
Todd-Boehly-Chelsea-September-2022 Credit: PA Images
Todd-Boehly-Chelsea-September-2022 Credit: PA Images

Chelsea will appoint a new sporting director ahead of the January transfer window, with three of their reported four shortlisted candidates revealed.

Todd Boehly has been in sole control of transfers this summer – the first window of the new Boehly-Clearlake Capital consortium. And Boehly has been busy with eight new arrivals, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Denis Zakaria on deadline day.

There have been six other new recruits with Wesley Fofana and top summer target Raheem Sterling also arriving at Stamford Bridge.

The American owner is widely believed to have done a solid job, although the success of the new arrivals will be better judged next May. He was though left in an awkward predicament with Romelu Lukaku wanting out. He also had to replace two defenders, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, who walked away on free transfers.

Boehly though, on the face of it, has done a good job, but he remains intent on adding an executive with football experience.

Marina Granovskaia, who was a close ally of Roman Abramovich , resigned in July. And technical director Petr Cech also departed, along with chairman Bruce Buck at the end of June.

It left Boehly standing alone and he is now eager to appoint an experienced sporting director to oversee the club’s future business. And now the club has seen head of international scouts Scott McLachlan depart for pastures new.

Michael Edwards proposal

The Athletic report that Boehly wants the new appointment in place before the January window.

But just who Chelsea will go for remains to be see. The Guardian have previously claimed Boehly has a shortlist of four contenders for the job.

High up on that list is understood to be former Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards. He stepped away from Anfield last season after 10 years at the club where he made his mark with a number of top signings.

Julian Ward officially took over from Edwards on July 1 and Chelsea were reportedly quick to approach the former Scout. But reports suggested that Edwards turned down a proposal for Chelsea in favour of taking a break from the game.

Whether or not his situation has changed in the 10 weeks since is unclear.

Former Barcelona star Maxwell is also believed to be under consideration. While former Tottenham chief Paul Mitchell is also believed to be in the thinking of the west London club. Mitchell is now overseeing Monaco’s transfer dealings.

The fourth man on the shortlist is a mystery, but ex-Chelsea man Michael Emenalo has also been linked.

Emenalo was the club’s technical director Emenalo and quit Stamford Bridge in 2017. He is believed to have rejected Newcastle’s offer to become their director of football.

Atletico Madrid’s Andrea Berta is also another name that was thrown into the mix in earlier in the summer. And he has a well-regarded background in the business overseeing deals for the likes of Antoine Griezman, Jan Oblak and Diogo Jota.

Tuchel out of new selection process

The decision will come from the new Chelsea board, Thomas Tuchel made it clear he will not be part of the selection process.

The German coach is solely focused on coaching at Stamford Bridge.

“I’m not involved in that, I have to say. I am so, so happy,” said Tuchel. “I had the feeling for one-and-a-half days, I shifted back to 100 per cent being a coach, which I enjoy a lot and where my full energy will go from now on.

“We need that energy going into the team. It’s a very complex situation with sporting directors and which role they have. They are very different in different countries and clubs.

“It’s no secret that I loved to work with Petr [Cech]. The communication and having this kind of legend at Cobham, who took care of not only our building but the academy and the culture of the club, was a pure pleasure for me.

“It’s a big change not to have him, and we’re still adapting. I am not actively involved in the search or building of a new structure. I’m not so sure it is my job.”

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