Arsenal have missed out on Sevilla’s highly-rated director of football Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo.
The 48-year-old, commonly known as Monchi, has been credited with helping Sevilla to achieve the significant success they have enjoyed in just under two decades.
He is set to join Serie A side AS Roma this summer, which has been reported as a blow for Arsenal’s long-term hopes of sustainable leadership in the transfer market during the post-Wenger era.
Monchi’s impressive record to date
Monchi, who has spent his entire career at Sevilla, was made the director of football in 2000 shortly after retiring at the age of 30.
A former goalkeeper, he has been praised for his knack in unearthing talent – such as Carlos Bacca, Ivan Rakitic and Dani Alves, who all progressed at the club before being offloaded for large transfer fees to clubs across Europe.
Having created a network of over 700 scouts across the world, he helped discover some profitable bargains in the same manner that Wenger has done during his 20-year reign as Arsenal boss.
Given the amount of uncertainty around the club about its long-term future, and whether Arsenal will manage to establish themselves amongst Europe’s elite once more, Monchi was reportedly on the list of potential candidates that were going to be approached for a directorial role at the club.
Monchi made clear his desire to leave Sevilla last summer but as no deal was made for his services, his request was denied. This would have been the perfect opportunity for Arsenal to make their move, though it has not been confirmed how long they were looking at him.
He revealed that he had offers from Premier League sides without revealing the names of the specific clubs. Regardless, he has turned them down to become Roma’s director of football this summer.
When questioned by Spanish newspaper AS he said, “It [the deal] is not finalised but it is close to being finalised.
“If everything goes as planned then I’ll join Roma, unless there is a twist.“