big changes | 

Chelsea seeking new sporting director after Marina Granovskaia’s exit

Marina Granovskaia, who has been confirmed as stepping down from her directorship with Chelsea. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Marina Granovskaia, who has been confirmed as stepping down from her directorship with Chelsea. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Matt LawTelegraph Media Group Limited

Chelsea will begin the search for a new sporting director after confirming that Marina Granovskaia has left her post as part of the changes to the club’s board.

Granovskaia has followed Bruce Buck out of Chelsea with co-owner Todd Boehly taking over the chairmanship and assuming Granovskaia’s responsibilities regarding transfers and contracts until a full-time sporting director is appointed.

Boehly’s decision to name himself acting sporting director has shocked some of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals and meetings will now take place over who is appointed to take the full-time position.

Chelsea confirmed Granovskaia will remain “available” to Boehly and the club for the remainder of the transfer window, but she no longer has a position at Stamford Bridge and will not play an active part in incoming or outgoing business.

Boehly and head coach Thomas Tuchel will lead this summer’s business while the club finds a new sporting director, with question marks still surrounding the future of technical and performance advisor Petr Cech, who was not mentioned in Chelsea’s statement and will hold talks with the new owners over his future.

Atletico Madrid’s Andrea Berta has already been linked to the sporting director role at Chelsea, while the club are likely to make an effort to find out the plans of Michael Edwards, who has left his position at Liverpool.

Boehly and Tuchel’s first task will be to start on this summer’s incoming transfer business after finalising a £7m (€8.1m) two-month loan deal for Romelu Lukaku to return to Inter Milan.

Raheem Sterling is near the top of a list of attacking targets who also include Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele and Everton’s Richarlison. Arsenal target Gabriel Jesus has also been offered to the club.

Lukaku, meanwhile, is being promised a lukewarm reception on his return to Inter Milan with supporters receiving a list of rules over how to treat the striker, which includes no longer regarding him as a “King”.

The Curva Nord supporters group issued the instructions to supporters on Instagram after the loan deal was agreed.

Lukaku left Inter under a cloud last year when he rejoined Chelsea for £97.5m (€113m) and the Curva Nord group have made it clear that fans are not yet ready to welcome him back with open arms.

Among the instructions issued is a warning not to greet Lukaku, who is due to take his Inter Milan medical ahead of his unveiling within the next week, with scarves and banners, and that he must earn any future adoration.


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