Arsenal are reportedly set to go head to head against Manchester United in their pursuit of AS Roma’s sporting director Monchi.
As per a report from the Daily Mirror, Premier League bigwigs Arsenal are interested in naming Monchi as their new sporting director, but face stiff competition for the AS Roma man from fellow English rivals Manchester United.
The 50-year-old Monchi is a highly reputed figure in the game and has done some exemplary work during his time at Roma, since joining the Giallorossi in April 2017.
Prior to that, the Spaniard spent sixteen years as the sporting director of Sevilla and helped discover special talents like Sergio Ramos, Dani Alves to name a few, playing a major hand in helping the club establish itself as a top-half side in the La Liga. During his spell at Sevilla, Monchi also worked with current Arsenal manager Unai Emery, with the pair sharing deep mutual admiration.
Arsenal are in the market for a new sporting director and have identified Monchi as a viable candidate, owing to his relationship and history with Emery. The Gunners are also considering former midfielder Marc Overmars, as per the report from the Daily Mirror, while they have also sounded out RB Leipzig’s Paul Mitchell.
Given the volume of experience Monchi has in comparison to his competition, the 50-year-old former Sevilla goalkeeper is Arsenal’s top candidate for the job.
However, they will have to do battle with arch rivals Manchester United, if they are to appoint Monchi as their new sporting director. The Red Devils are also considering changing their working model at the club, with the appointment of a director being a key concern for chief executive Ed Woodward, who has often come short in the transfer market.
“With regards to the the director of football, lots has been written about this,” Woodward said during the United investors’ quarterly conference call on Thursday as quoted by Manchester Evening News. “But in regards to the overall structure, we are looking at that (the head of football role) and ways we can make it stronger and it is something we’ll do on a continual basis.”
Former Manchester United goalkeeper and club legend Edwin van der Sar had been linked with the director’s role last summer, while another club legend Eric Cantona sparked widespread rumours that he will be donning the role with his social media post earlier this month, as per Manchester Evening News.
However, Monchi remains a priority target for the 20-time English champions, while French champions Paris Saint-Germain are also in the hunt, as per the report from the Daily Mirror. The 50-year-old has a contract with Roma that runs till the summer of 2021. It remains to be seen if Arsenal or any of his other suitors are able to convince him to switch clubs in the coming months.