Arsenal‘s pursuit of a technical director received a major boost on Wednesday. Following his side’s Champions League elimination at the hands of Porto, Roma’s Monchi clashed with supporters while the team boarded their flight back to the Italian capital.
What he told the fans has strongly suggested he is leaving in the summer.
Roma’s Monchi Hints at Imminent Exit
What He Said
Roma saw their 2-1 first-leg lead crumble against Porto on Wednesday. The Portuguese side not only levelled affairs by the second half, they even grabbed a late penalty winner in extra time to advance to the Champions League quarter-final.
After the match, as Roma boarded their flight home, around 15 supporters confronted players and staff about the result. Football-Italia reports that one of the fans told Monchi, “You have to go, you’re wrecking the team.”
The Spaniard responded harshly, first telling the fans, “you’re better”, suggesting that his contributions have made the Giallorossi a better side than before he came. Monchi went on to say, “in six months, I’ll take on each of you one on one.”
It is this latter statement which is fueling speculation of an imminent departure.
This incident came the day after Monchi was strangely absent from a pre-game lunch in Portugal that was set up by the boards of both Roma and Porto.
Arsenal Technical Director
Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has wanted to bring on a technical director ever since his influence at the club grew following Ivan Gazidis’ departure for AC Milan. The Gunners’ need only grew last month as head of recruitment Sven Mislintat also left the club after butting heads with Sanllehi.
Along with Roma’s Monchi, Arsenal are considering both Brazilian technical director Edu and Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars for the position. However, it is likely that head coach Unai Emery would love a reunion with Monchi.
The two worked magic together while at Sevilla, winning the Europa League three times successively.
Emery said of Monchi in January, “I worked very well with him in Sevilla for three-and-a-half years and my relationship with him is good. He is a good person and a good professional. I can say he is working in Roma and this issue is the club’s responsibility.”
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