Arsenal dealt blow as Monchi commits to Roma

Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of transfer guru Monchi, who has revealed that he is “close” to signing a contract with Italian giants Roma.

Monchi, a former goalkeeper, revealed last month that he would end a 17-year association with Europa League holders Sevilla this summer as he looks for a fresh challenge in football.

Arsenal were reportedly hopeful of bringing the director of football to the Emirates Stadium as part of a new set-up, although Monchi has seemingly confirmed that he will soon sign a contract with Roma, who want to end Juventus’ domination in the top flight of Italian football.

He told AS:

“It 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.

“I remember when Marcelo arrived on a plane to sign for Sevilla but ended up at Real Madrid. That’s why I don’t want the bells to ring out until everything has been tied up.”

Monchi, 48, represented Sevilla as a player between 1988 and 1999, before retiring at the age of 30 to take on a staff role at the Estadio Ramon.

The Spaniard is widely regarded as one of the best negotiators in European football when it comes to the buying and selling of players.