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Chelsea face a battle over transfer guru and former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards

Chelsea face a battle to recruit transfer guru Michael Edwards after Todd Boehly’s first choice as sporting director vowed to take a year off after leaving Liverpool

  • Chelsea have opened talks with Michael Edwards but have two hurdles to clear
  • The Blues want Liverpool’s former sporting director to take on a similar role
  • But Edwards would like a year to recharge after leaving Jurgen Klopp’s Reds side

Chelsea have opened talks with Michael Edwards but need to clear two hurdles to persuade Liverpool’s former sporting director to take on a similar role at Stamford Bridge.

Todd Boehly has been on Edwards’ trail since leaving Anfield late last season and is looking for the best way to fill the void left by Marina Granovskaia’s departure.

New co-owner Boehly has boldly assumed responsibility for leading Chelsea’s hectic summer of transfer business, with head coach Thomas Tuchel also playing an active role.

Securing Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards (left) is a focus for Chelsea at the moment

Securing Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards (left) is a focus for Chelsea at the moment

New Blues owner Todd Boehly has been hot on his heels since he left Anfield late last season

New Blues owner Todd Boehly has been hot on his heels since he left Anfield late last season

They’ve completed the signings of Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling for £47.5m and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly for £34m and are on the verge of a £50m deal for Brighton’s Marc Cucurella, a striking blow for one wanted Manchester City left-back.

Other ambitious targets remain active but some have left, including Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and Leeds winger Raphinha, both of whom have snubbed the London club for Barcelona.

They are also chasing a right-back and are seriously eyeing Denzel Dumfries but have balked at Inter Milan’s £42million valuation. Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters is another target.

At the same time, Chelsea still have players wanting to leave and a frustrated Tuchel admits his side are not ready for the Premier League season, which begins with a trip to Everton on Saturday.

Edwards forged his reputation at Liverpool as an experienced negotiator and clinical deal maker at the helm of a team that combines data and eye-in-the-stand scouting operations with the demands of manager Jurgen Klopp and the club’s financial constraints.

After their success in recent years, it’s no wonder he’s so prominent on Boehly’s list as he seeks to create similar expertise at Chelsea from the remnants of a unique trading company helmed by Roman Abramovich.

However, Edwards made it clear when he quit after a decade at Anfield that he wanted a break of up to a year to freshen up and recharge before taking on his next challenge.

Ideally, Chelsea want someone in position next month so that’s the first obstacle to overcome. The second concerns the level of control they are willing to grant to the first athletic director of the Boehly and Clearlake Capital era.

It is questionable how his role will interlock with that of manager Thomas Tuchel (right).

It is questionable how his role will interlock with that of manager Thomas Tuchel (right).

Edwards, who is coming into a position of power with other clubs also interested in hiring his services, would expect the freedom to build an empire as he sees fit, but where are those already in position are?

Where is Tuchel, the popular Champions League coach, if they don’t have a common vision?

There will be no shortage of alternatives if Boehly and Edwards can’t come to an agreement.

The job is very appealing to those who have made names for themselves in the role, including Paul Mitchell, formerly of Southampton and Tottenham and now at Monaco, and Andrea Berta of Atletico Madrid, who is believed to be looking for a change of scenery and Chelsea has admirers.

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