Chelsea set technical director timeframe as shortlist already decided

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Chelsea hope to appoint a permanent sporting director before the January transfer window, according to reports. The Blues have still not departed the long-serving former transfer chief and Roman Abramovich ally Marina Granovskaia, with co-owner Todd Boehly taking on the role on an interim basis. 

Boehly oversaw a big-spending summer transfer window, the first since the Boehly-Clearlake Capital consortium’s takeover was completed in May. However, the American businessman has no plans to be the long-term sporting director.

Following Granovskaia’s resignation in July, Chelsea reportedly drew up a four-person shortlist of candidates. It included the former Barcelona left-back Maxwell, and the well-regarded ex-Liverpool negotiator Michael Edwards. 

The latter has been the favourite to become the new Chelsea technical director for some time, having been a key driving force behind Liverpool’s ascent under Jurgen Klopp. However, wide-ranging reports suggest that Edwards wants an extended break from football after 10 years with the Reds. 

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According to The Athletic, Boehly wants the new sporting director in place before the January transfer window. There is a necessity for more experience behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge. 

Boehly has no previous experience in running a football club, although his first transfer window can largely be assessed as being a success. Technical director and club icon Petr Cech, with whom boss Thomas Tuchel loved working, exited alongside Granovskaia. 

Earlier in the summer, the Guardian claimed that there is a shortlist of four targets to permanently replace the Russian. Known to be on the list are the ex-defender Maxwell, who serves as assistant sporting director at Paris Saint-Germain, and Edwards. 

Paul Mitchell, the former Tottenham transfer chief who is now at Monaco, has also been considered. The fourth name is not known, although former Blues technical director Michael Emenalo has been linked with a return in recent months. 

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Tuchel said following Chelsea’s 2-1 win over West Ham on Saturday that he is not involved in the recruitment of a new sporting director. The German conceded that he is enjoying putting all his energy into coaching his team after a gruelling transfer window, in which the West Londoners spent £250million on eight new players. 

“I’m not involved in that, I have to say. I am so, so happy. 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,” Tuchel told journalists. 

“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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