Sky Sports are reporting that Chelsea are locked in a battle with Manchester United and Arsenal, in their attempts to bring in a new Sporting Director.

The Blues have been without a Sporting Director since Michael Emenalo left in 2017, and the lack of one has had negative affects, with some strange footballing and transfer decisions occurring.

Paul Mitchell is widely known as being one of the best talent spotters in the game, and was formerly at Southampton and Tottenham.

Mitchell is credited with unearthing talents including Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle at Southampton – and Toby Alderweireld, Dele Alli and Kieran Trippier when reunited with Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs.

He’s also been making moves at RB. To date he has recruited Nordi Mukiele (Montpellier), Matheus Cunha (FC Sion) and Marcelo Saracchi (River Plate) – along with Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls) and Amadou Haidara (Red Bull Salzburg), spending around £35m on assets which would now sell for more than double RB’s investment.

But it will be a real task for Chelsea, or any other club to prize Mitchell away from Germany.

Sky Sports report that Leipzig have offered Mitchell a lucrative new deal, that will keep him there until 2025.

The latest RB offer, which will see Mitchell take on increased responsibilities as the club’s ‘head of global football’, would likely see him taking over the managerial reins at the club before that contract expires.

Chelsea also have Luis Campos, the current Sporting Director at Lille, fully on their radar. But both could prove to be a difficult coup.

Simon Phillips