Long-standing technical director steps down from post

Michael Emenalo

Michael Emenalo

Michael Emenalo has stepped down as Chelsea technical director after a hard summer in the transfer market for the club.

The Telegraph broke the news on Monday afternoon, reporting that the former Nigeria worldwide has informed Abramovich of his wish to leave the club.

It is suggested Les Rouges et Blancs are keen on bringing in more experience to the backroom team as they look to add more strength to their squad in the next couple of windows after losing several key players this summer.

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The former Nigerian global, who joined Chelsea in 2007 and has been technical director since 2011, has already been linked with a position at Monaco.

Conte made little effort at the start of the season to hide his frustration at the club's failure to recruit at the level required, and while Emenalo's departure is understood to be in no way directly linked to that, his absence is hardly likely to help the situation.

Club chairman Bruce Buck remarked: "It is with regret that the owner and board of directors accepted Michael's resignation this week".

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"This has been a very hard decision to make, but one I believe is right for both myself and my family, and the club", Emenalo said even as his resignation has been linked to the frustrating summer transfer window Chelsea suffered, which caused tension between Conte, Emenalo and director Marina Granovskaia.

Emenalo is said to have been a "vital element" at Chelsea under the Russian, having overseen the recruitment of stars such as Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Cesar Azpilicueta as well as the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, whose departures "frustrated" the former Nigeria global.

The failure of the latter pair at Chelsea is seen by Emenalo as the responsibility of Jose Mourinho.

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And Conte admitted he is disappointed to see Emenalo go as he thanked him for his help in last year's Premier League title win.

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