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Chelsea, Liverpool ‘trying to poach’ Real Madrid chief scout Juni Calafat — report

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A specialist in the Brazilian market

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According to the Telegraph, “a number of leading Premier League clubs” and Everton, too, are keen on Real Madrid chief scout Juni Calafat and are thus “considering trying to poach” him.

(Ed.note: This is a department about which we don’t hear much at all — and therefore don’t know much at all beyond base speculation — but for Chelsea, this is the second scouting-related story in just as many days, after German media claimed that one of our scouts, Florian Zahn, switched allegiance to Bayern in January after four years overseeing Chelsea’s European scouting network. He had joined Chelsea from Kaiserslautern, though that one didn’t make the news probably because we didn’t play them in the Champions League. Fortunately, we still have all of our copies of FIFA and Football Manager, so we’re good. It doesn’t take a Zahn to tell us that Haaland is good, after all.)

But back to Calafat.

A Spaniard raised in Brazil, he became Real Madrid’s head of recruitment for South America in 2014, on the back of his success in recommending midfielder Casemiro. He’s been a key factor in getting talented young Brazilian players, such as Reinier, Rodrygo and Vinícius Junior, over to Real. He’s reportedly also played a key role in overhauling the club’s recruitment philosophy, which has lead to the signings of Fede Valverde and Ferland Mendy, two young players who have been massive contributors to Real Madrid’s successes this season.

With a CV like that and the void left behind by Michael Emenalo still not completely filled — Scott McLachlan remains chief scout, just as he’s been since at least 2012, while Petr Cech’s purview is still not entirely obvious — adding someone like Calafat would be quite interesting. However Real Madrid seem to be quite protective of their scouting talent, and they do not allow him to give interviews, not even with Brazilian media (which is probably true for most scouts and most clubs).