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Roma Director of Football Monchi Leaves Club Amid Arsenal Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2019

PORTO, PORTUGAL - MARCH 06: AS Roma Sport director Ramon Rodriguez 'Monchi' looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Porto and AS Roma at Estadio do Dragao on March 06, 2019 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Roma parted company with director of football Monchi on Friday amid rumours he is wanted by Arsenal.

The Italian side announced the news via Twitter:

AS Roma English @ASRomaEN

AS Roma and Monchi have mutually agreed to bring an early end to their professional relationship. Monchi: "I would like to thank president Pallotta, the club’s management, staff, players and fans for their support during my time at the club." Details ➡️ https://t.co/gKoqvdvX4y https://t.co/jf2wFg0aEo

According to Calciomercato.com's Francesco Balzani (h/t Sport Witness' Naveen Ullal), the Gunners are set to pursue Monchi's services "immediately."

Monchi's departure from the Giallorossi follows their UEFA Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Porto on Wednesday.

Italian football expert David Amoyal had sympathy for the Spaniard:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

There is no club that brings more pressure in Italy than Roma, it goes well beyond tweets and videos. Monchi also had to deal with a difficult financial situation at the club, he can strive with a new opportunity

The Gunners already have a director of football in Raul Sanllehi, but head of recruitment Sven Mislintat left the club in February after just 14 months in the job.

According to Football.London's James Benge, Arsenal feel positive they will be able to bring Monchi to the Emirates Stadium:

James Benge @jamesbenge

Monchi gone. Could be a while before he takes over a Arsenal but they’re confident they’ll get him.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has an excellent working relationship with his compatriot from his time as Sevilla boss.

Working alongside Monchi, Emery delivered three consecutive UEFA Europa League titles during his time at the club.

Football writer Matt Scott believes the pair could work well together again:

Matt Scott @Matt5cott

@Arsenalman2011 @Arsenal Arsenal will always have a chance with the kind of clever recruitment you talk about and with quality coaching. I have every confidence that Emery can achieve this, especially if paired with Monchi, as at Sevilla.

Those three Europa League tiriumphs took Sevilla's trophy haul to 11 during Monchi's 17-year spell at the club before he joined Roma.

The 50-year-old helped to recruit the likes of Dani Alves and Ivan Rakitic on a limited budget, and he also helped the club win back-to-back UEFA Cups in 2006 and 2007 as well as the Copa del Rey twice.

Arsenal have more resources than Sevilla or Roma, but they can't invest as heavily as rivals such as Manchester United or Manchester City, either.

They will need to recruit smartly to make up for that deficit, and Monchi has an excellent track record of doing just that.

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