He would succeed interim owner Todd Boehly, who had been in the position for some time.
After contacting the Austrian club over the weekend, Chelsea is expected to reach an agreement soon.
Freund is regarded as one of Europe’s best talent scouts, having brought in a slew of young players who have since been sold for a profit.
Chelsea were impressed after speaking with Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko, and manager Graham Potter has given his approval for the appointment.
Owner Todd Boehly has been acting in the interim role but has publicly acknowledged Red Bull’s efforts, with Chelsea keen to follow the multi-club model of ownership as well.
🔜 Christoph Freund is expected to become Chelsea's new sporting director, although Salzburg's Stephan Reiter says nothing is agreed. Early discussions have already been held over potential midfield targets for next summer. The long-term situation with Chelsea's goalkeeper situation is also being focused on. 👀 (Adam Newson)
Last week, when asked about Chelsea’s interest, Austrian Freund said:
‘I’ve had exchanges with Chelsea from time to time. We spoke a lot more a month or two ago because they were interested in signing [Benjamin] Sesko.
‘The new owners are interested in how we do things with young players, how we integrate them into the first team. Chelsea is a huge club in transition. I can’t say exactly what will happen in the next few weeks and months..’
ℹ️ Christoph Freund is now expected to become Chelsea’s new sporting director following another round of positive talks. It is thought his appointment will be made relatively soon. (Matt Law, Telegraph)
The 45-year-old has built a strong reputation in the sport after signing players like Erland Haaland, Sadie Mane, Naby Keita, and Dayot Upamecano.