Raul Sanllehi’s Arsenal exit to hand Mikel Arteta final say on transfers

Mikel Arteta Arsenal Training Session
The Spaniard’s influence will grow in the wake of Sanllehi’s sudden departure (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta will be given a more prominent role in Arsenal’s transfer business following the shock exit of head of football Raul Sanllehi, with the Spanish coach to have the final say on all transfers.

The north London club announced on Saturday that Sanllehi would be leaving his post as part of a restructuring behind the scenes, with managing director Vinai Venkatesham absorbing his role.

But it is not only Venkatesham who will enjoy a bigger say in the goings on at Arsenal, with The Times reporting that Arteta will now have more control over transfers.

Raul Sanllehi Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final
Sanllehi, left, spent just under three years at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Former Barcelona director of football Sanllehi was brought in by Ivan Gazidis to remove the enormous authority Arsene Wenger had enjoyed over transfers during his long reign.

But after an investigation into the £72million deal he conducted for Nicolas Pepe, it was decided that a different framework was required.

Arteta will now work closely with technical director Edu to decide transfer targets, with Venkatesham signing off budgets, and the Arsenal head coach will be given the final say on all incomings and outgoings.

The Spaniard’s influence had already been growing prior to Sanllehi’s exit, having convinced the club to hand Bukayo Saka a substantial new deal.

He was also the driving force behind the deal for 32-year-old free agent Willian, who has signed a three-year contract with the club, and has been crucial to the push to get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay at the Emirates.

Mikel Arteta Edu Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final
Edu and Arteta will work together to decide transfer targets (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal’s transfer business will not be affected by the many changes happening – with a number of high-profile scouts also axed – with targets decided some time ago, and Arteta is looking to push ahead with deals for a centre-back and midfielder.

Speaking after his exit was confirmed, Sanllehi said: ‘Working with Vinai, we have built a top team for the future. Mikel has made an extremely positive impact since his arrival and has formed a strong team with our technical director, Edu.’

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