Walter Sabatini, one of the more respected technical directors in football, has been linked with Chelsea since February this year. Amidst rumours of Antonio Conte's imminent arrival at Cobham at the time, Sabatini was reportedly set to join the club alongside the new manager, thus replacing the much-maligned Michael Emenalo as technical director.
The rumour emerged once again in March and also last week, even though Emenalo and Co. have done a good job, in general, in addressing the team's needs this summer. But according to the Daily Mail, Emenalo's job remains safe as the club "still hold faith" in his services, in spite of Conte's presumed admiration for his fellow countryman.
Sabatini left his post at Roma earlier this month due to the dissatisfaction of having to sell some of the team's biggest names in the last few seasons. The Mail’s report does not rule him out of the Chelsea job completely, but just as we surmised, claim that a move for Sabatini would require a new, as yet unspecified role change for Emenalo.
Emenalo has been at Chelsea since 2007, initially as a head scout, then as assistant manager in 2010, and then as technical director since 2011. Over the years, he’s overseen the acquisition of names such as Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, and Kurt Zouma (and also names such as Papy Djilobodji, Michael Hector, and so on). But his biggest claim is setting up our extensive loan network, which currently has 38 players aged 19 to 28 on temporary assignments all across England and Europe (plus Wallace and Joao Rodriguez in South America).
If Emenalo were to move a different role eventually, perhaps it would be one to deal exclusive with the Loan Army. But for now, he remains exactly where he’s been since 2011.