Monaco have appointed former Chelsea transfer guru Michael Emenalo as their new sporting director.
The 52-year-old former Nigerian international spent 10 years at Stamford Bridge in various roles, including as technical director. He left earlier this season, ostensibly in order to ‘see my kids grow and to step back and reflect on the work I have done.’
However Emenalo has now taken up a role with the Ligue 1 champions, where he will directly report to vice-President Vadim Vasilyev.
Emenalo said: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for me in a high quality project. AS Monaco has shown great progress for several seasons and I am convinced that the future will be just as ambitious.
‘Vasilyev’s willingness to see me join was decisive and for me, the choice was natural after my decision to leave Chelsea.’
Emenalo had several jobs with Chelsea before being promoted to technical director in 2011. While in charge of recruitment, the club bought several notable players including Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois or N’Golo Kante.
He also helped make the Chelsea Academy one of the most competitive in Europe, winning the UEFA Youth League in 2015 and 2016.
However Chelsea endured a frustrating transfer window last summer, missing out on several key targets, including Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, while key midfielder Nemanja Matic was also sold to Old Trafford.
Emenalo eventually fell out with both owner Roman Abramovich and manager Antonio Conte, and left the club at the start of November. He had been blamed for the lacklustre summer of transfers.
He told Chelsea TV at the time: ‘It is entirely my decision and it has come about for very simple reasons. I need to see my kids grow and to step back and reflect on the work I have done here and the things that we have been able to accomplish at this great club.’
Vasilyev said: ‘I invested a lot in him coming. His know-how in detection and recruitment, as well as the technical experience acquired in one of the most successful clubs in recent years, are the reasons that led us to present this ambitious challenge.
‘This appointment is another sign of our ambition and our desire to be as competitive as possible.’