Emenalo rejects Newcastle’s director of football role
Former Chelsea technical director, Michael Emenalo has rejected Newcastle’s offer to become their new director of football, according to reports.
Emenalo, 56, travelled to Saudi Arabia for talks and was understood to be the club’s No 1 choice for the role, with director Jamie Reuben and Newcastle’s Saudi owners as well as first-team manager Eddie Howe keen to appoint him.
But according to the Telegraph, the club’s inability to match his ambitious plans for the relegation-threatened Magpies means he has declined a deal.
After thorough negotiations with director Amanda Staveley, in which he outlined his short- and long-term ideas to improve the club, Emenalo reportedly feels the club’s current vision does not suit him.
His rejection of their offer is not thought to be based on Newcastle’s relegation battle or lowly league position, and the relationship has remained cordial, so the club could re-approach him again in future with a more suitable proposal.
The news will cause some to question where the power lies at Newcastle, with Unai Emery also rejecting an approach to become manager after a botched pursuit of the former Arsenal boss.
Newcastle could now have to look further afield to fill their director of football position and may sign someone, former Nottingham Forest director of football Frank McParland for example, on an interim basis.
With an understanding that Staveley personally approaching transfer targets is not ideal, the club wants to have a seasoned director overseeing player recruitment as they try to avoid the drop.
Emenalo is a highly respected name despite a disappointing spell at Monaco, with an eye-catching decade of success at Chelsea, in which time they won three Premier Leagues, the FA and League Cups, and the Champions and Europa League titles.