Blues eye super scout to take over Emenalo as technical director
Identifying then recruiting the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar, Anthony Martial, Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Fabinho, Luis Campos built an AS Monaco squad capable of dethroning Paris Saint-Germain as French champions while simultaneously generating unprecedented sums in transfer fees.
Currently employed by Lille and formerly Jose Mourinho’s senior scout at Real Madrid, the Portuguese is said to be interested in the opportunity. His work at Monaco — which also helped the principality club reach last season’s Champions League semifinals — resulted in the club grossing “€360million or thereabouts” in transfer revenue last summer alone, according to Vice President Vadim Vasilyev.
In 2015, Monaco became the first club to secure more than €200 million in transfer fees in a single window. In both summers a global record fee was secured for a teenager through the sales of Martial to Manchester United for a potential €80 million ($93 million) and Mbappe to PSG for a guaranteed €180 million. Campos specializes in the age range, one which is of particular importance to Chelsea.
Emenalo resigned last week, citing a desire to spend more time with his family as a reason for voluntarily bringing a close to a 10-year spell in which his role evolved from Avram Grant’s opposition scout through an enforced appointment as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant to his 2011 elevation to technical director.
Brought to Stamford Bridge from a job coaching schoolgirls at Tucson Soccer Academy, the former Nigeria international oversaw a modernization and rationalization of Chelsea’s scouting system that helped turn substantial profits on a number of first-team and farmsystem players.
It is understood that owner Roman Abramovich attempted to prevent Emenalo’s exit, the Nigerian having established himself as a valued pair of eyes and counsel at Chelsea’s training ground, in the dressing room and behind the bench. Emenalo also served as a buffer between Abramovich’s managers, de facto chief executive Marina Granovskaia and the board.
Ironically, Emenalo is expected to take on Campos’ former role as Monaco’s sporting director. Should that appointment be confirmed, the 52-year-old can look forward to a substantial increase in his after-tax remuneration.
Asked about the possibility of working at a Premier League club in an interview with Yahoo Sport earlier this year, Campos said: “It may happen, but I think most English clubs do not know how to recruit for an issue that I almost think is cultural as almost everyone makes the same mistake.
“English clubs really, really like top attacking players, yet to a large extent make them play alongside medium-quality defenses. And that, in my opinion, explains their relative lack of success in European competitions despite them spending exorbitant sums in recent years.
“Successfully building a good team project always involves the ability of players to relate and ‘match’ to each other. In the Premier League there is a big difference between great talents and the medium quality of support for the same offensive talent. Most teams lack great defenders and defensive midfielders.
“So I do not know if they would understand me culturally. The great forwards who are already in the Premier League would be even better if they had the support of great full backs, for example. And how many great full backs are there in England? Right now, maybe just Tottenham’s.”
LONDON: Chelsea have approached the man regarded as European football’s most accomplished talent scout to canvas his interest in succeeding Michael Emenalo as the club’s technical director.