Arsenal are in danger of missing out on sporting director Monchi after Sevilla announced that they had held ‘productive’ talks with the 50-year-old about returning to the club.
Monchi only left Roma last week, with the Italian side deciding to sack their manager and overhaul their structure after a disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Porto.
Arsenal have long been linked with a move for Monchi, who has spent years learning English, and need to fill the void left by Sven Mislintat’s sudden departure.
But now Sevilla have jumped in ahead of Arsenal and offered Monchi the chance to return to the club where he forged his reputation over 17 years.
The Spanish side are in need of a new director of football after the previous occupant of the role, Joaquin Caparros, was handed the managerial reigns on a caretaker basis following the dismissal of head coach Pablo Machin.
President Jose Castro confirmed: ‘Sevilla now needs a sports director and we have looked for the best and the best is Monchi. ‘Our conversations go well with him, the conversations have been very receptive.
‘We believe Monchi is the best choice and we’ve started negotiations with him. His receptiveness has been extraordinary. We have to agree on future plans, but both parties are optimistic.’
The news is a big blow for Arsenal and Unai Emery, who had hoped to be reunited with Monchi after their success together at Sevilla – winning the Europa League in three straight seasons.
Ajax chief Marc Overmars, who played for Arsenal two decades ago, is the likeliest alternative to Monchi should he join Sevilla, and has enjoyed great success at the Dutch club since 2012.