German giants Bayern Munich add a new key piece to the club hierarchy in the run-up to the 2023-24 season after hiring highly-touted RB Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund.
In an announcement posted to the club’s official website, Freund, who compiled an immense body of work during his 17 years in Austria, is set to make the leap to one of the world’s greatest footballing institutions which could signal a big shift in Bayern’s recruitment strategy.
Salzburg general manager Stephan Reiter could not speak highly enough about Freund after both clubs came to an agreement surrounding the gifted talent ID guru: “After so many successful years together, we want to help Christoph take the next step in his career. We are proud of his move and see it as a testament to the work we are doing in our entire club. I am looking forward to the final few weeks in which we can work to finalize our squad for next season. We were not entirely unprepared for Christoph’s move, and we have already been able to think about a possible successor. We will communicate that soon.”
Freund spoke of the move as well, with his final weeks with the club still of vital importance to RBS this campaign: “After an incredible 17 years at this club, which is so special for me, I have decided to take on a new challenge and become sporting director at FC Bayern Munich. I will always remember the countless wonderful and emotional moments throughout such a successful time together here, and the experiences I have gained will also help me in my new role. Now it will be a matter of using the next six weeks together with Stephan and our great team to finish the final details in our squad planning for next season and assemble another strong group to represent FC Red Bull Salzburg.”
With his arrival at Säbener Straße expected on the 1 September, Bayern will have a direct line into Freund’s ability to navigate the transfer market with incredible efficiency on the back of an exceptional recruitment record, which Transfermarkt’s Manuel Veth does brilliantly to go into detail over.
During his time at Red Bull Arena, Freund was responsible for a recruitment remit that saw the club that saw the likes of Erling Haaland, Dayot Upamecano, Naby Keïta, Dominik Szoboszlai, Konrad Laimer, Amadou Haidara, Karim Adeyemi, Peter Gulacsi, Sadio Mané, and Benjamin Šeško all utilize RBS as a brilliant location for development before going on to bigger entities in both Germany as well as in the Premier League.
Given Bayern’s considerable need to revamp and improve their ability to scout and recruit, this could be a major building block that could well move the club forward in the very near future.