Southampton are furious that they are set to lose their head of recruitment Joe Shields to Chelsea, just three months after he joined the club, 90min understands.
Shields is understood to have agreed to make the move to west London, despite only joining Southampton in July, although terms between the clubs are not finalised.
Shields will have to serve a period of gardening leave, meaning he will not be able to start work at Chelsea until around Easter next year.
The Saints had worked hard on a deal to lure Shields to St Mary’s this summer to take charge of their recruitment and he wasted little time in setting up deals, with Juan Larios, Sam Edozie and Gavin Bazunu all coming in from City.
Shields also help set up a deal for Romeo Lavia, who Chelsea tried to sign at the end of the window. 90min understand the Lavia deal particularly caught the attention of the Stamford Bridge hierarchy, who have now made their move for Shields.
Sources close to Southampton have confirmed to 90min that they are ‘furious’ and ‘upset’ that Shields is set to leave. Southampton director of football Rasmus Ankersen, also a co-owner of the club, played a big part in identifying and bringing Shields to the club.
90min has also been told that City are ‘not amused’ to see Shields make a swift move to one of their main Premier League rivals, given his inside knowledge of the Etihad Stadium set-up.
The move for Shields will see him become the latest part of Chelsea’s recruitment jigsaw and will fill a spot vacated by Scott McLachlan.
Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth are joined by Tom Gott in the latest episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss Erling Haaland’s Manchester City release clause, Mason Mount’s future at Chelsea and their sporting director plans, and what the future could hold for 700-goal Cristiano Ronaldo at Man Utd. Available on all audio platforms.
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Chelsea have landed Christopher Vivell from RB Leipzig, while highly-rated recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay arrived from Brighton with Graham Potter.
The search for a new sporting director is also continuing with Chelsea scouring the world for options. Michael Edwards remains their first choice, but his decision to take time out of the sport means they may yet opt for an alternative.