Former Nigerian international Michael Emenalo has emerged as the frontrunner for the director of football job at Newcastle United, reports in England say.
The Toons just announced Eddie Howe as their new head coach and according to the Telegraph, the club is keen to finalise a move for former Chelsea technical director Emenalo to complete the football set up at St James’ Park.
According to the reports, Emenalo has already met with Newcastle’s new owners in Saudi Arabia and he is now their first choice for the director of football job.
Emenalo has a reputation as one of the best football operators in his field, burnished by his hugely successful ten-year spell at Chelsea.
During Emenalo’s time with the club, Chelsea won the Premier League title three times, the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League.
He was one of the club’s key decision makers in the appointment of managers, working with 10 during his time at Stamford Bridge, and also exhibited a keen eye for talent.
Emenalo, who won 14 caps in a decade with the Super Eagles, was instrumental in bringing the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois to Stamford Bridge while also helping to convince Eden Hazard to later join the Blues.
The Nigerian was also instrumental in the development and the success of Chelsea’s academy. The academy has produced budding talents Mason Mount, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for the first team while also earning the club substantial amounts in transfer fees from the sale of players such as Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi.
After resigning from his position at Chelsea in November 2017, Emenalo later worked at Monaco before eventually leaving by mutual consent just over two years ago.
Following his departure from the French side, the Nigerian expressed a desire to get back to work in the Premier League and it appears Newcastle are set to make his wish a reality.