Chelsea set to appoint key Man City figure already – bosses knew crisis was coming

David Ornstein has today dropped another really interesting exclusive in the Athletic, claiming that Chelsea are going to appoint Glenn van der Kraan from Manchester City as a major figure in their academy following yesterday’s shocking news that Neil Bath and Jim Fraser would be leaving.

Van der Kraan joined Man City from Dutch club Feyenoord in 2020 as “head of coaching” and has continued to build up an impressive reputation for his work with academy level players. Yesterday he told City of his plan to head to Chelsea where he will take over some of the duties of the departing Bath and Fraser.

He already knows our important co-director of recruitment and talent, Joe Shields, from his time at City.

Co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart are in charge of reorganising the whole setup following the stunning departures of academy head Bath and his assistant Fraser, who have been around for decades. Van der Kraan and Shields look like they will both be at the top of this new structure.

Ornstein claims the club have been working on this succession plan for “a considerable amount of time,” and the fact that Van der Kraan is already on his way indicates there was certainly some knowledge that this was coming down the pipeline.

Glenn van der Kraan on the touchline for Man City.

Where Chelsea go next

It’s very tough to judge how a lot of figures in these sorts of roles operate. You don’t see it directly on the pitch, and in fact it often takes many years for the effects to become clear. One has to assume those at the top have been casting their glance over a number of candidates in the last few months.

But with Stewart and Winstanley in the middle of dealing with the busiest part of the transfer window, it’s not ideal timing for them to also be reorganising the club’s whole academy at the same time.

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