Chelsea have continued the rebuild of their recruitment department by appointing Monaco’s Laurence Stewart as technical director and are also looking to poach Brighton & Hove Albion’s head of recruitment, Paul Winstanley.
Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital have been making changes to Chelsea’s infrastructure since buying the club in May and are looking to build a strong recruitment team around the head coach, Graham Potter. Christopher Vivell, who was fired by RB Leizpig last month, is poised to join in a technical director-style role and Joe Shields is due to arrive as co-director of recruitment once he has seen out his gardening leave at Southampton.
Stewart, who must complete his commitments as Monaco’s technical director before joining, will “focus on football globally”, Chelsea said.
The club have held talks over taking Winstanley from Brighton. Winstanley has developed a good reputation at Brighton, who have earned plaudits for their smart signings in recent years. The Guardian reported that Chelsea were looking at him last month and the club are ready to solidify their interest.
It is believed that Winstanley will work closely with Shields, Stewart and Potter’s recruitment analyst, Kyle Macalauy. Winstanley knows Macaulay well from his time at Brighton.
Chelsea want at least four recruitment experts, with Vivell potentially given the responsibility of coordinating the department. Plans to hire a sporting director have been put to one side.
There have been suggestions that Boehly and Clearlake would like to create something akin to a transfer think-tank. The recruitment team could feed up to Boehly, who has been working as interim sporting director since June.
Boehly took that role after Marina Granovskaia left, with the departures of Scott McLachlan and Petr Cech leaving other holes to fill. Chelsea had initially looked to hire a sporting director and were close to appointing RB Salzburg’s Christoph Freund, only for that deal to collapse.
The indications are that Chelsea would rather have several recruitment experts than be reliant on one person. They want a collaborative approach, with links between the coaching staff, recruitment department and ownership. Boehly, who oversaw a heavy summer spending spree, could continue to take an active role in transfer negotiations in January.
Chelsea could also look to appoint a new chief executive and a football operations manager.