Michael Emenalo has stepped down as Chelsea’s technical director but could return to football with Ligue 1 giants Monaco.
Emenalo has been a key cog in the Chelsea machine under Roman Abramovich but has seen his role increasingly under pressure in an internal power struggle between Marina Granovskaia, a key Abramovich confidante, and manager Antonio Conte.Conte’s future beyond this season is by no means secure but the manager himself is not thought to be a reason for the Nigerian’s departure.
Indeed, Emenalo helped bring Conte to Stamford Bridge and has overseen transfers and youth development while the former Juventus boss won a Premier League title in his first season.
But the politics of the club and interest from elsewhere, namely Monaco, have helped convince the former Notts County defender that his time at Chelsea was up.Monaco is a club that has been looking to solidify their place among France’s elite and as a perennial Champions League team. The sharp increase in Ligue 1 television revenue has allowed them to further invest in a club that raked in enormous transfer income last summer.
Emenalo is one of a number of candidates that the principality club are looking at to strengthen and oversee their sporting infrastructure and that includes scouting and identifying talented youth players and channeling them into the first-team.
The lack of pathway from the academy to the first team at Stamford Bridge has been a significant issue for Abramovich, but Monaco is looking to create a similar sort of money-spinning model employed by FC Porto and Benfica where they develop and make profits on the continent’s best young players.