Published: Tue, November 07, 2017
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Emenalo Quits Chelsea over Row with Conte

Emenalo Quits Chelsea over Row with Conte

The English Premier League champions announced on its website yesterday that Emenalo, a key confidant of club owner, Roman Abramovich, was standing down from his role at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea said in a statement: "Chelsea Football Club today announces that technical director Michael Emenalo has chose to stand down from his role".

However, it is believed that Chelsea's transfer proceedings this summer evoked conflict between the Nigerian and Chelsea's head coach, Antonio Conte.

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Chelsea Chairman, Bruce Buck, also added that Emenalo had handed in his papers earlier this week and was leaving only to undertake a new challenge elsewhere. "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".

It is believed that differences in the recruitment of players may have separated Emenalo and Conte, who he helped appoint in 2016.

Although Emenalo's relationship with Conte was not hard, this is a club with power struggles going on off the pitch.

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It remains to be seen how the departure of Emenalo - whose office was situated opposite to Conte's at Cobham - will affect Chelsea's decision-making structure, or who will be appointed to replace him as technical director. Emenalo joined Chelsea in 2007.

The former Nigeria global was appointed technical director in July 2011 and has led Chelsea's scouting and recruitment, including the network of loaned out youngsters.

But during his time at Chelsea, the likes of Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta and Willian were brought in from European clubs - although the club also drew flak over expensive flops and a lack of activity in recent windows.

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Conte is the 10th manager Emenalo has worked with and the former Notts County player has always been viewed as the great survivor of the Abramovich era.

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