Todd Boehly has stepped down as temporary sporting director at Chelsea following a difficult first half-year at the club, with his new recruitment team taking shape, according to reports.
The American tycoon, 49, stepped into the role on an interim basis following the departure of ex-Blues transfer chief Marina Granovskaia.
Highly-regarded thanks to her work under Roman Abramovich for more than a decade, she left west London shortly after the Russian oligarch.
After managing the team for 19 years, Abramovich was compelled to sell it due to the invasion of Ukraine by his country, which caused his connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to light. Boehly, who led a consortium’s £4.25 billion acquisition, assumed Granovskaia’s role but had a difficult start to English football.
Chelsea has spent more than £350 million on transfers, but the returns have been decreasing. This season, they also made the brutal decision to fire popular manager Thomas Tuchel after just seven games.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the 49-year-old has renounced his position as interim sporting director in a novel development. Boehly and his partner co-owner Behdad Eghbali have delegated control to the Blues’ director of global talent and transfers, Paul Winstanley, and the club’s new technical director, Christopher Vivell, even though Boehly will still have the final say on transfers.
Vivell and Winstanley were pictured either side of new signing Benoit Badiashile last week, after the French defender arrived from Monaco in a £35m deal.
The pair will soon officially be joined by Joe Shields, recently appointed as co-director of recruitment and talent, and Laurence Stewart, who’s been given the title of technical director. The report adds that Boehly is fully behind manager Graham Potter following a difficult first four months in charge.
Chelsea’s recruitment drive for the January transfer window is already in motion, with Badiashile being joined by Ivorian wonderkid David Datro Fofana and RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku expected to arrive at Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Blues have also reached an agreement to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid, paying €11million (£9.68m) for his services over six months.
However, it doesn’t appear that Chelsea will be getting their hands on top target Enzo Fernandez this month, with Benfica holding firm. Manager Roger Schmidt declared on Monday that talks over the 21-year-old midfielder’s potential departure are “closed”.
“The issue with Enzo is closed, there is no issue anymore,” the Benfica boss said of Fernandez, who recently won the World Cup with Argentina and was crowned Young Player of the Tournament. “He’s our player, he’s in a very good condition, he’s training well, he’s happy, so he’s part of the squad and a key player. I think I’ve already said everything about him.”