Former Chelsea technical director first choice for DoF role at Newcastle United 9 months ago

Former Chelsea technical director first choice for DoF role at Newcastle United

Maybe they do... have a plan?

Newcastle United are in talks with former Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo, according to a Telegraph exclusive.

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The club are expected to announce Eddie Howe's appointment as head coach in the coming hours, having failed to recruit Villarreal manager Unai Emery last week.

Howe was present at Newcastle's 1-1 draw with Brighton on Saturday alongside Amanda Staveley, and barring any last minute catastrophes, looks set to take over in his first managerial post since he left Bournemouth in 2020.

And it now looks likely that Howe will work in tandem with Emenalo as Newcastle look to take full advantage of their new Saudi ownership and rebuild the club's playing squad, with ambitions of playing in Europe and eventually winning the biggest prizes football has to offer.

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The Telegraph report that the Nigerian former pro, who acted as Chelsea's technical director between 2011-2017, travelled to Saudi Arabia last week for talks with the club's owners, who are keen to appoint him as their new director of football.

Emenalo is credited with being the key figure behind many of Chelsea's biggest and most important signings of the past decade, including Eden Hazard, N'golo Kanté, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah.

In November 2017, Emenalo resigned from his post at Chelsea, before joining AS Monaco. He left the French club by mutual consent less than two years later.

He is also understood to be a big fan of Howe, speaking positively about the 43-year-old coach during his talks with the Newcastle owners.

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His appointment would be a strong indication of Newcastle's lofty ambitions, but his and Howe's first task at hand will be keeping the club in the Premier League.

The Magpies are currently second from bottom, separated from Norwich by goal difference only. They are already five points adrift of safety and will need a productive January window in order to keep hold of their top flight status.