Chelsea are expected to appoint Christopher Vivell as their technical director after the German was sacked by RB Leipzig on Friday. The new regime at Stamford Bridge are making changes to the infrastructure and have been speaking to candidates about their sporting director and technical director roles. Vivell, who had been at Leipzig since 2020, held talks with Chelsea in London on Tuesday.
Leipzig put Vivell’s departure down to “differing views”. It is understood that the Bundesliga club, who are expected to sell their striker Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea next summer, are unhappy with the 35-year-old seeking another role.
Chelsea, who want a collaborative approach with their manager, Graham Potter, expect the technical director to look after the day-to-day running of their training ground. They see the sporting director looking after data and recruitment, but there have been suggestions that they could look for a head of recruitment. Chelsea were close to hiring RB Salzburg’s Christoph Freund as sporting director, but talks broke down last month.
Todd Boehly, Chelsea’s chairman and interim sporting director, has spoken about his desire to create a multi-club model. Leipzig and Salzburg, both run by Red Bull, are renowned for their smart recruitment. Chelsea’s sporting director will be expected to work in tandem with Potter’s recruitment analyst, Kyle Macaulay.
Along with trying to buy Nkunku, Chelsea are also likely to attempt to sign the RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.
Chelsea’s fears over Wesley Fofana have been allayed after learning that the defender’s knee injury is not serious. Graham Potter said he was concerned after Fofana left Stamford Bridge on crutches following Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Milan on Wednesday night, but a scan has shown the 21-year-old did not sustain a serious ligament tear and is likely to be out for about four weeks.
A best-case scenario would see the £69.5m defender return before the World Cup begins next month, although his hopes of making it into France’s squad for Qatar will be in doubt if he does not play enough before the tournament. There is a chance that Fofana, whose form has been mixed since his move from Leicester, could be out for six weeks.
Although Chelsea are relieved not to have lost Fofana to a long-term injury, they will be without him for a busy period. The former Leicester player is out of the home game against Wolves on Saturday and Tuesday’s trip to Milan in the Champions League.
Chelsea have league games against Aston Villa, Brentford, Manchester United and Brighton before the end of October. Fofana, who scored the opener when Chelsea revived their Champions League campaign by beating Milan, could also miss the trip to RB Salzburg on 24 October. A target date for his return could be the visit from Arsenal on 6 November.