Chelsea to make new technical director a priority when window shuts

Chelsea finally hope to make progress on the appointment of a new technical director to succeed the departed Michael Emenalo once the transfer window closes across Europe at the end of the month.

Emenalo left his position last November and subsequently took up a similar role at Monaco in Ligue 1, with the director Marina Granovskaia taking on his major responsibilities at Stamford Bridge.

She has overseen the club’s incoming and outgoing transfers in the two windows since, including sanctioning the latest wave of loan departures this summer, with the search for a permanent successor put on hold.

Chelsea opted to prioritise the appointment of a new head coach, with Maurizio Sarri eventually replacing Antonio Conte in mid-July, and efforts to strengthen the first-team squad rather than securing a technical director.

Yet while further players are expected to leave this month to add to the 31 loanees who have departed to date – Kenneth Omeruo joined Leganés on Wednesday – Granovskaia is expected to turn her attentions back to filling the role once the European and Football League loan window deadline has passed.

Sarri is understood to be eager to work closely with whoever takes up the position, meaning a candidate who speaks Italian could be favoured and would act as a go-between between the academy, first-team and hierarchy.

Yet Granovskaia has still to finalise whether the appointment would be a like-for-like replacement for Emenalo, or whether duties could be shared among existing members of staff.

She is likely to seek to continue to oversee transfer dealings and contract negotiations at the club.

The likes of Dan Ashworth, currently technical director at the Football Association, and the former Chelsea players Juliano Belletti and Michael Ballack have been mentioned, together with Monchi, the director of football at Roma.

Informal talks have been held with other candidates who have approached the club, with Chelsea acutely aware that Manchester United may be seeking to recruit for a similar role at Old Trafford.

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