Arsenal are interested in hiring Juventus director of football Fabio Paratici when his contract expires in June, reports Le 10 Sport.
Paratici looks set to leave the Serie A outfit this summer after failing to agree an extension on his contract. Paris Saint-Germain have shown an interest, but it is believed the Gunners have also entered the race.
If true, it would represent a significant change in Arsene Wenger's stance on directors of football after previously claiming he would never work with one. The Frenchman enjoys total control with both team selection and transfers. Should Paratici join, Wenger's decisions on transfers would first have to go through the Italian first.
Wenger's strong position
“I would not work with a director of football because they buy the players and when it does not work you are guilty for not using them well,” said Wenger in 2013.
“I am not against having people to help me buy, sell and negotiate because I cannot do it all. But I think the final decision always has to belong to the manager to decide who comes in and who goes out because he is responsible for the style of play and results.”
Article continues below
There is still some doubt as to whether Arsenal officials can convince Paratici to join with PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi likely to offer him a lucrative contract. However, the chance to work with one of the most reputable managers in the world may prove irresistible.
Paratici has built a strong reputation with Juventus, working alongside chief executive Giuseppe Marotta for ten years in Turin. The 42-year-old has overseen deals for Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal and Alvaro Morata in recent seasons.
A drastic change
But what has caused such a drastic change of heart from Wenger? The Arsenal man has now got a big budget behind him at the Emirates and has spent over £100 million on transfers this season.
Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and Danny Welbeck were just some of the names to arrive while the additions of unknowns like Krystian Bielik and Gabriel hinted at a strong scouting system.
There is chance that this deal is going over Wenger's head and is part of an ongoing process to get a strong system in place once he departs. Andries Jonker, the new head of Arsenal's academy, was infamously hired by Ivan Gazidis with no say from Wenger.
Paratici may be the next backroom addition designed to help Arsenal cope in the post-Wenger years with the 67-year-old tipped to retire when his current contract expires in 2017.
Do you think Arsenal need a director of football or should all transfer decision rest in the hands of the manager? Give us your views in the comments box below!