Arsenal have missed out on Monchi as Sevilla confirm he has returned to become the club’s new sporting director.
The Premier League side had been confident of appointing the Spaniard as their new technical director after he left his post at Roma earlier this month.
However, Monchi has rejected a three-year contract from Arsenal and instead agreed a deal to return to the club where he gained his formidable reputation.
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Sevilla confirmed his appointment on Sunday with a post on social media, writing: ‘Monchi has come home.’
The 50-year-old also rejected late approaches from Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to return to the role he held two years ago.
Arsenal had expected to wrap up a deal for him to replace Sven Mislintat, who left his position as the club’s head of recruitment last month after just over a year in the job, but now they must consider other options.
Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s head of football, is leading the search for the final member of the club’s senior executive team and is understood to have identified Monchi as the club’s No 1 target.
Former player Marc Overmars was also a strong candidate and may now be in prime position to get the role despite being tied down to Ajax until 2020.
Overmars, having overseen Ajax’s surprise run to the Champions League quarter-final, is however not expected to be come cheap.
Monchi’s decision to return to Sevilla will come as a huge blow for Arsenal.
The Spaniard is regarded as one of the best in the business at what he does, having transformed Sevilla into regular Champions League qualifiers and Europa League winners, with an impressive network of scouts and shrewd working of the global transfer market during his 17-year period at the club.
While at Sevilla, Monchi scouted numerous profitable bargains, including Dani Alves, Seydou Keita and Ivan Rakitic.