Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle director search meets world class operator who transformed Chelsea

Steve Pearson
Amanda Staveley following the Saudi takeover of Newcastle United 2021

Ajax director Marc Overmars has rejected to chance to lead the new Newcastle project, though a figure who transformed Chelsea is now the frontrunner, per multiple reports.

Following the official appointment of Eddie Howe as their new manager, attention has now turned to who Newcastle will install as their Director of Football. But according to the Athletic, it won’t be Ajax’s Marc Overmars.

The ex-Arsenal winger was one of a number of candidates speculated for the role. However, the BBC (citing the Athletic), state the Dutchman has ‘turned down the chance to join Newcastle.’

That won’t dissuade Amanda Staveley and PIF for long, quite the contrary. According to the Telegraph, Newcastle are already making strides in their efforts to appoint Michael Emenalo.

The 56-year-old will be a familiar name to Chelsea fans having held the Technical Director’s role at Stamford Bridge between 2011-2017. Prior to that, he worked extensively in the scouting department.

The Telegraph describe Emenalo as ‘one of the best operators in football.’ Chelsea lifted 10 major honours during his stint with the club and oversaw the arrivals of a host of world class players.

He is credited with identifying Belgian stars as a ‘blossoming market’. Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois were all signed on his watch. Furthermore, the likes of Juan Mata, Mohamed Salah, N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas were bought when Emenalo was in charge.

He was also instrumental in transforming Chelsea’s academy into a world class operation. The Blues have reaped the rewards of Emenalo’s work in recent years, with the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi now first-team regulars.

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In more positive news for Newcastle, Emenalo is said to be a ‘big fan’ of new boss Howe. Emenalo was spotted in the Saudi city of Jeddah last week, with talks with Newcastle’s hierarchy reportedly on the agenda.

There is no timeline set on the decision as yet. However, the Telegraph conclude talks are expected to ‘accelerate’ during the international break.


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Newcastle target due to become free agent?

Meanwhile, Juventus are negotiating a deal to terminate the contract of Newcastle target and frozen-out midfielder Aaron Ramsey in January, claims a report.

Ramsey has not appeared in Serie A for Juve since September. His game-time this season stands at just 112 minutes. And now the 30-year-old is out of manager Max Allegri’s favour.

Calciomercato.com reports that Allegri has lost faith in the 30-year-old and has now cast him aside. The idea of playing him in a quarter0back role in front of the defence has been ditched.

The report claims it is ‘unlikely that things will change in the next few weeks, there is no future for him in Juventus.’ 

Therefore Juventus are working on a plan to offload Ramsey. A sale would be the perfect scenario, but they know that will be tough.

So Juve officials are believed to be talking over a termination in which Ramsey would be due a pay-off.

Ramsey has a hugely lucrative deal until June 2023, with a salary of around €10m a season. That means his contract is worth in excess of €20m.

And Newcastle are reportedly interested in Ramsey, per TuttoSport (via The Mirror)The report predictably stated that Newcastle would not be scared to foot the bill to sign Ramsey. They are now of course the richest club in the world after the 80% stake bought by PIF.

READ MORE: PIF suffer setback as Real Madrid ace ‘rejects’ Newcastle advances