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Who is Monchi? The transfer guru set to join Arsenal

Sven Mislintat's departure from Arsenal was confirmed in February amid claims that the Gunners would be appointing a technical director to work between head of football, Raul Sanllehi, and head coach Unai Emery.


Former Sevilla chief Monchi is now the leading candidate to take on the role. According to reports, it has already been offered to the 50-year-old who is set to leave Roma after less than two years in the Italian capital.


News that ex-Borussia Dortmund chief scout Mislintat was to leave the Emirates, 13 months after arriving in England, shocked supporters. It is understood that he became unsettled over a change of direction following the departure of chief executive Ivan Gazidis.


 

The South African left for Milan last season with Sanllehi stepping up to take on further responsibilities in an expanded role, a move that would have effectively demoted Mislintat once a technical director had also been appointed.


Regarded as one of the most prolific talent spotters in the game, he played a major role in Dortmund signing the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Henrikh Mkhitaryan before selling them on for big money.


Roma sporting director Monchi

At Arsenal, he is understood to have been the brains behind moves for Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi in the summer, in addition to the arrival of Konstantinos Mavropanos in January 2018.


However, Monchi has his own impressive record to fall back on, having taken over as director of football at Sevilla in 2000 following their relegation to lead the club back into La Liga to go on and win five Europa League titles and establish themselves as a major force in Spanish football once more.


 

But who is Monchi and why are Arsenal so keen to recruit Sevilla's former recruitment genius?


Here's all the information you need to know.


Who is Monchi?


Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, commonly known as Monchi, is director of football at Roma.


The 50-year-old started his football career as a goalkeeper for Sevilla and made his debut in January 1991 against Real Sociedad.


Monchi was a backup shot-stopper and he decided to call time on his football career in 1999 at the age of 30.


In 2000, following Sevilla's relegation from the top flight, he was appointed as the club's sporting director and success soon followed.


Steven Nzonzi with Monchi after joining the club in 2015

Having asked to leave the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium ahead of the 2016-17 season, he finally departed in April 2017 and signed a four-year deal with Roma to take up a similar role.


During his time at Sevilla, he oversaw the recruitment and sale of players including Dani Alves, Ivan Rakitic, Julio Baptista and Seydou Keita to generate around £175million in revenue.


 

At Roma, he has been behind the signing of highly-rated individuals such as Arsenal target Cengiz Under, Justin Kluivert and Steven N'Zonzi, the former Stoke City midfilder he had previously taken to Sevilla.


Monchi to Arsenal - has he been linked to the Premier League before?


It comes as no surprise to see that Monchi has been linked with a move to the Premier League given the success he has enjoyed in his career.


Everton were believed to be close to luring him to Goodison Park in 2016, while Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs have also been linked with the 50-year-old in the past.


Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG are another three clubs that had been trying to tempt Monchi away from Seville, yet it was Roma who in the end won the race.


 

In recent months, Manchester United have also been named as suitors.


Arsenal will likely need to pay to bring Monchi to the Emirates with a figure of £1million quoted as his release clause at Roma.


What was Monchi's role at Sevilla?


Monchi was given two objectives when he started his new role at Sevilla in 2000.


He was told to develop the club's youth policy so that players could progress from the academy to the first team, as well as implementing a scouting system that would allow the Spanish side to spot talented players before any other sides.


Not only did Monchi meet his objectives, he exceeded them by some way.


Monchi could potentially be on his way to the Emirates

He also completely rebuilt the club's scouting and youth systems.


Former Arsenal player Jose Antonio Reyes was one of the club's homegrown players who managed to make a big impression in the first team, while the likes of Sergio Ramos, Diego Capel and Jesus Navas also followed suit.


Although they didn't stay at Sevilla, their respective moves earned the Spanish side millions.


 

The club also made a number of shrewd acquisitions during Monchi's time at Sevilla with the likes of Luis Fabiano and Kevin Gamerio, in addition to Alves and Rakitic, just some of the players to come in and then move on for big fees.


Monchi's work has also seen the club taste a lot of success over the past decade.


Monchi is widely regarded as the finest sporting director in Europe.

Having regained promotion back to La Liga in 2001, Los Rojiblancos have since won the Europa League on five occasions, including three on the bounce between 2014 and 2016, and the Copa del Rey twice.


With some expecting the departure of Juande Ramos to Spurs in 2007 to be the downfall of the team, many felt that an exit for Monchi would have been far more disastrous.


 

Monchi to Arsenal - How did he work with Unai Emery?


Emery and Monchi enjoyed great success together at Sevilla following his appointment as boss back in 2013.


With many concerned about how a manager and sporting director can work in tandem, the pair showed just how it's done.


Unai Emery, then coach of Sevilla, kisses the trophy after the UEFA Europa League final against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

Emery was allowed to work with his players on the training pitch week in, week out with very few distractions.


The ex-Valencia boss had full faith in Monchi that he could deliver him a player that would fit into his style and be a major hit at Sevilla.


Rather than forcing a new signing onto Emery, the pair worked together to find a player that would fit the team perfectly.


Although the Spanish side lost key players during Emery's time at the club, they still remained competitive by bringing in quality additions at a smaller price.


Three successive Europa League titles was proof of how successful the pair were together.


 

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