Blues co-owner Todd Boehly is looking to have someone in the job ahead of the upcoming World Cup in Qatar and new head coach Graham Potter has also been involved in the process of finding the right candidate.
What’s the latest news involving Freund?
Respected Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Chelsea are on the verge of reaching an agreement over personal terms with Freund, while talks are ongoing with current employers Red Bull Salzburg.
The 45-year-old refused to rule out the prospect of heading to west London when asked about links to the job last week, raising doubts over his long-term future in Austria.
It has emerged that Chelsea’s American co-owner has intentions to develop a multi-club model, similar to Red Bull, meaning Freund would be an ideal candidate as he has already been involved in that system while with Salzburg.
Freund has played a key role in luring the likes of Erling Haaland, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Dayot Upamecano to the Austrian Bundesliga during his stint.
What has Simon Phillips said about Freund?
Phillips believes Freund will prove to be a shrewd appointment by Chelsea if they succeed in reaching an agreement.
The journalist feels the Austrian is among the leading sporting directors in the business and would head to west London having unearthed some exceptional talents.
When asked whether the appointment of Freund is an exciting prospect, Phillips told GIVEMESPORT: “Definitely. I’ve seen people playing down his name purely because they’ve never heard of him.
“But, if you do your research, you can see that he’s got a proven history of finding top talents. Not only Erling Haaland because I could sit here and name 20 very good players that he’s been responsible for finding.
“He’s very well respected in the business and highly regarded. I think he’s known for being one of the best up-and-coming sporting directors in the business right now.”
How have Chelsea started the season on the pitch?
Chelsea have made an underwhelming start to the campaign and headed into the international break sitting seventh in the Premier League table thanks to winning just half of their six fixtures so far.
The Blues are still searching for their opening victory of the Champions League group stages as well, having lost to Dinamo Zagreb and drawn with Freund’s current club Salzburg.
Chelsea’s struggles have come despite spending more than £250million during the summer transfer window.