Michael Emenalo has stepped down as Chelsea technical director after a difficult summer in the transfer market for the club.
Emenalo has been with the club ten years and has worked alongside ten managers, but may now be tempted by a move to Monaco.
The Nigerian has been criticised in recent years for Chelsea’s use of the loan system, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Mo Salah eventually being sold for less than their value.
But Emenalo was visibly happy to see Andreas Christensen excel on Sunday against Manchester United, while he was also instrumental in signing Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, De Bruyne and Lukaku.
The failure of the latter pair at Chelsea is seen by Emenalo as the responsibility of Jose Mourinho.
Emenalo saw 10 managers in 10 years but I'd be wary of painting this as a win for Conte. My understanding is their relationship was ok #cfc
— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) November 6, 2017
Although Emenalo’s relationship with Conte was not difficult, this is a club with power struggles going on off the pitch.
The Daily Telegraph report: ‘Chelsea suffered a frustrating summer transfer window, which caused tension between Conte, Emenalo and director Marina Granovskaia.
‘Sources have suggested that Emenalo does not wish to engage in a three-way power battle with Conte and Granovskaia who are known not to see eye to eye.’
Announcing his decision, Emenalo said: “This has been a very difficult decision to make, but one I believe is right for both myself and my family, and the club. I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the most talented people in the world of sport over the past 10 years, and I will depart incredibly proud of the achievements we have made. I wish Chelsea every success and look forward to following the club’s future triumphs from afar.”
Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck added: “It is with regret that the owner and board of directors accepted Michael’s resignation this week. He has had a tremendous impact on the club over the past 10 years and this is evident in everything we have achieved. We are sorry to see him go but understand his desire to move on and explore new challenges.”
Director Marina Granovskaia said: “We are extremely grateful to Michael for his tireless work over the past 10 years. He has played an important role during the most successful period in the club’s history, helping make Chelsea the club it is today. We will now be reviewing our management structure, and Michael will be a part of that process as we look ahead.”
First Team Head Coach Antonio Conte said: “I am very sorry to see Michael leave Chelsea, and I would like to thank him for all his help and support since I arrived at this club. I have enjoyed working with him very much, we celebrated a Premier League title together in May, and I wish him the very best for the future.”