TWO Chelsea bidders are "closely monitoring" Paul Mitchell as they prepare to hire a new sporting director, according to reports.
The post at Stamford Bridge has been vacant since Michael Emenalo left the club in 2017.
And Mancunian Mitchell, 40, is being chased by at least two of the three parties left in the running to buy the Blues, say The Athletic.
The shortlist to take over from Roman Abramovich at Chelsea had been cut to four parties.
But after the group led by the Ricketts family withdrew their proposal, the race is now between groups led by Todd Boehly, Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton.
All parties are keen on keeping transfer supremo Marina Granovskaia.
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And reports claim two of the original bidding groups want to fill the role of technical director.
Both potential Chelsea owners are closely monitoring the situation surrounding Monaco sporting director Mitchell.
Several other names are believed to be in the running.
But Mitchell – who succeeded Emenalo at Monaco – is considered to be the No1 target.
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He has held senior roles at MK Dons, Southampton, Tottenham and RB Leipzig already during his career.
In March, it was claimed Mitchell was considering quitting Monaco due to a "change in the political climate".
But after Monaco's superb run of form – and talks with president Dmitry Rybolovlev – Mitchell could now stay put.
The sporting director has been credited with the Ligue 1 side's turnaround from relegation scraps to pushing for Champions League places, all with one of the youngest squads in the league.
Mitchell is credited with integrating more youth products into the senior squad, helping the club's woeful injury record and transforming the atmosphere for the better.
He still has two years left on his contract having taken the Monaco job in the summer of 2020.
And given the club's revival, Mitchell may be more difficult to coax away from France.
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Mitchell had been linked with the job at Newcastle, before their new owners opted for Brighton's Dan Ashworth.
But both Mitchell and Monaco's mettle is set to be tested in the coming weeks with Chelsea's takeover edging closer.
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