Monchi linked with Arsenal appointment after Roma exit
Arsenal have moved a step closer to appointing Monchi as technical director after Roma announced that the Spaniard had left the club.
Monchi, who worked with Arsenal head coach Unai Emery at Sevilla, left Roma hours before the Italian club confirmed the appointment of former Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri as head coach.
Monchi has a reputation as one of Europe's leading recruitment specialists and has been a long-term target for Arsenal.
The 50-year-old spent 17 years as Sevilla's director of football and was credited with a series of successful and profitable signings, including Ivan Rakitic and Dani Alves. Rakitic, who now plays for Barcelona, once said that Monchi was so important that his presence was "like buying 10 new players".
Asked this season about the possibility of Monchi joining him, Emery said: "I worked very well with him in Sevilla for three and a half years. I can say to you only that he is a good person and a good professional."
Monchi's time in Italy has not gone to plan, however, and this week he apologised after an altercation with Roma fans at the airport as the team returned from their Champions League defeat at Porto.
The appointment of a technical director has been a pressing issue for Arsenal since the departure of Sven Mislintat, the former head of recruitment, last month.
Meanwhile, Emery has said he will select "fresh players" for tomorrow's crucial meeting with Manchester United at the Emirates.
Arsenal were left drained by defeat against Rennes in the Europa League on Thursday night, when they had to play more than half the match with 10 men following the dismissal of defender Sokratis.
Emery's side are fifth in the Premier League, one point behind United. They have a more favourable run-in, though, and will feel confident of securing a place in the top four if they can win this game.
"They (United) are in a very good moment but we are together in the table and we played against them one month ago in the FA Cup. We lost 1-3 but I remember we did very good things and created chances.
"We know Sunday is a tough match. We need a very big performance from each player and tactically to be like a team.
"With our supporters I want to create a big, positive atmosphere to help us and give us the best strong support for the match."
Meanwhile, Tottenham's new stadium will finally host its first Premier League game in the first week of April.
The 62,000-capacity ground, built on the site of the old White Hart Lane, was due to open in September but has been hit by delays, with fears growing it would not host a match at all during this campaign.
Spurs plan to host two test events in late March to gain a safety certificate, after which they will face either Brighton or Crystal Palace at the new venue in the first week of April, subject to Brighton's progress in the FA Cup. (© Daily Telegraph, London)