AS Roma director of football Monchi has said it is a ‘pleasure’ to be linked with Arsenal.

The Spaniard made his name during a 17-year spell with Sevilla, during which he helped uncover Spanish talents such as Sergio Ramos, Jose Antonio Reyes and Diego Capel, as well as bringing in profitable bargains from abroad, such as Julio Baptista and Ivan Rakitic.

Could Monchi be on his way to Arsenal? Five key things to know…

  1. Monchi was director of football at Sevilla from 2000 until 2017, unearthing a host of talent during that time.
  2. The 50-year-old worked with Unai Emery at the Andalusian club between 2013 and 2016, when Emery was manager.
  3. Emery guided the club to three straight Europa League titles, with Monchi calling him a ‘perfect fit’.
  4. It has been announced Arsenal’s head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, will leave the club next month.
  5. This has seen Monchi linked with the vacancy, with the Spaniard describing the reports as ‘a pleasure’.

Monchi has been at Italian side, Roma, since 2017 but has been linked with a move to the Gunners after their head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, confirmed he will leave the club next month.

However, despite being flattered at the links, the 50-year-old has insisted he is focusing on the job at hand.

“I know my name is being associated with Arsenal but I am concentrating on my job with Roma,” Monchi said.

“However it is a pleasure being linked with a club like Arsenal – but it is not the first time that happens.”

Emery “the perfect fit” for Monchi’s methods

If Monchi was to make a move to Arsenal, it wouldn’t be the first time the 50-year-old has worked with Unai Emery, with the two spending time together at Sevilla.

Emery guided the Andalusian club to three straight Europa League titles between 2014 and 2016 and Monchi was certainly complimentary of his manager at the time, calling him a ‘perfect fit’.

“Unai is critical for our model to be successful,” Monchi said in 2015. “He obtains results when we need them, he improves the players and is popular with our fans. He is the perfect fit.”

Emery’s Arsenal are just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League table but attention turns to the FA Cup when they take on rivals Manchester United on Friday.

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