Former Arsenal Head of International recruitment, Francis Cagigao, will not renew his contract with the Chilean FA as he looks to return to Europe following an offer that saw his salary drop by 30%.

Francis Cagigao
Francis Cagigao

Sacked Arsenal scout, Francis Cagigao, will leave his role as sporting director for the Chilean FA at the end of the month, despite being offered a contract extension.

Cagigao took up the role at the start of 2021 with the goal of getting Chile to the World Cup in Qatar.

Chile, however, finished 7th in their qualifying group with 19 points, some five points off a play-off place, seven points from the last automatic qualification place and 26 behind group winners, Brazil.

With that in mind, his renewal offer saw a 30% salary reduction.

Although he has been offered a position in the MLS, it is believed that the Spaniard wants to return to Europe to be close to his family.

Cagigao was a youth player at Arsenal during the 80s before becoming the club’s longest-serving senior scout and Head of International recruitment.

His reputation was respected all over the world, playing a big hand in the signings of Lauren, Cesc Fabregas, Jose Antonio Reyes, Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal, Mikel Arteta, Emiliano Martinez, Granit Xhaka, Alexis Sanchez, Carlos Vela, Hector Bellerin, Robin van Persie, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba, to name just a few.

When Sven Mislintat left the club due to disagreements with the management, Cagigao was the man the club turned to to fill that role, but just seven months later, he was gone, too, as the club ‘restructured’ once again, using Covid as their excuse.

“You can’t afford to be bitter in life and you have to have a thick skin and get over things quickly,” Cagigao said around a year after he left.

“I’m very proud of the time I spent and I’m proud of my personal achievements and I also very privileged to have worked for Arsenal FC.

“It was club where I was able to learn, where I met and worked with some incredible people over the years.”

Cagigao was reportedly targeted by a number of top clubs in Spain, Germany, and South America in 2018, with a director of football role being mentioned in Spain.

He stayed at Arsenal, despite the turmoil surrounding the club, only to have that loyalty disregarded.

Cagigao took up the role with Chile a few months later, a job he will now leave at the end of this year.