Premier League • England

Chelsea switch focus to sporting director who impressed Todd Boehly in failed summer transfer talks

Monchi at Sevilla training

Chelsea have turned their attention to Sevilla sporting director Monchi as a potential candidate for their own vacancy, according to reports.

After changing their head coach and various members of their playing squad over the past few months, the next task for Chelsea’s new owners is to find a sporting director to replace the departed Marina Granovskaia.

Todd Boehly oversaw those responsibilities on an interim basis throughout the summer transfer window. Now, he wants to put someone in place to take on the role full time.

However, he has been frustrated so far. Chelsea previously looked to be closing in on the appointment of Christoph Freund before he opted to stick with RB Salzburg.

Now, they need to find someone else for the role – and preferably before the January transfer window.

With that in mind, 90min are now reporting of their potential interest in Sevilla chief, Monchi.

During the summer transfer window, Chelsea tried to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla. It never happened, since he ended up at Barcelona instead. But Boehly was still said to be impressed by Monchi during their negotiations.

Therefore, he could consider prising him away from the Spanish side.

Monchi has never worked in the Premier League before, but has built up his reputation with Sevilla. He was responsible for bringing Dani Alves to European football back in the day, for example.

All six of Sevilla’s UEFA Cup or Europa League wins have come under the Monchi regime, across two spells. Therefore, Chelsea could entrust him with building a winning project.

Previous Monchi venture provides cause for concern

However, there is one caveat when it comes to Monchi. He has had one experience away from Sevilla before, in the fairly recent past, and it was disastrous.

The former goalkeeper went to Italy to become Roma’s sporting director in April 2017. However, he was heavily criticised for his work in the Italian capital.

After Roma reached the Champions League semi-final in 2017-18, Monchi sold several of their star players. That was understandable enough due to financial fair play concerns. The problem was that he replaced them with generally far worse options.

For example, his replacement for Alisson Becker – who was briefly the most expensive goalkeeper in the world – was Robin Olsen. The Sweden international flopped seriously and now struggles to get a game for Aston Villa.

Even the year before, Antonio Rudiger, a player Chelsea know very well and who has gone on to even bigger things with Real Madrid, was sold and replaced by Hector Moreno – whom Roma had to sell six months later because, as the player himself would later confess, he “didn’t know how to defend”.

Those are just two examples of why Monchi’s time away from Sevilla was nowhere near as successful as his original spell in Andalusia. As a result, he left the Serie A side ahead of schedule in 2019, before returning to his Spanish comfort zone.

The report from 90min wonders if Monchi would want to put himself through the challenge of working abroad again. Hence, Chelsea might need to be persuasive if they believe in his strong points more than his weaknesses.

They also have other candidates in mind, still. Among their alternatives are Leeds’ Victor Orta, Monaco’s Paul Mitchell and Bayer Leverkusen’s Tim Steidten.

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