Arsenal have offered sporting director target Monchi a hugely lucrative contract to move to north London but face competition from his old club Sevilla.
The 50-year-old only left Roma last week, with the Italian side deciding to part company with both manager Eusebio Di Francesco and Monchi in a huge restructuring after their Champions League exit at the hands of Porto.
He was quickly linked with a reunion with Unai Emery at Arsenal, though Sevilla confirmed on Friday that they had made a late move of their own.
Were Monchi to snub a move to north London, it would be a huge blow for the Gunners, with The Mirror reporting he is their ‘first and only option’.
Arsenal’s offer would have made Monchi one of the highest paid sporting directors in the Premier League, putting a £2.5m-a-year contract until 2022 on the table.
However, Monchi would still have to report to football administrator Raul Sanllehi, while predecessor Sven Mislintat had expressed concerns over his diluted say in transfers before deciding to leave.
But at Sevilla Monchi would be given free reign and full control, much as was the case during his previous tenure when he built a side that won the Europa League in three straight seasons.
The Spanish side’s 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.’