It has been rumored for several months, and now reports are circulating that former Arsenal midfielder Edu is close to being named the Gunners’ first ever technical director.
Edu is currently with the Brazil national team at this summer’s Copa America. His appointment is expected to become official following completion of the tournament early next month.
The Brazilian spent five years with Arsenal and was a member of the 2003-2004 squad of “Invincibles”. In addition, Edu was a part of two Premier League title winning sides and two FA Cup victories.
The Gunners’ head of football Raul Sanllehi was originally interested in Monchi for the technical director position. However, when Monchi decided to return to his former club Seville, Sanllehi turned his attention to Edu.
The Brazil Football Federation had set a £6m pay out fee for Edu to leave and join Arsenal. However, Brazil have since waived the fee, making the deal that much easier to complete.
When asked about the technical director position Sanllehi said,
The technical director has to bring [together] the sporting philosophy of the club. The head coach is more the short-term vision, the technical director has to safeguard the medium and long-term.
That person needs to be in very close contact with the first-team coach and have his total trust, know the first-team from in and out, knowing what’s coming from the academy. If he knows a big talent is coming from the academy he can already prepare the head coach.
He needs to take care of all the market, the scouting and agents.
Edu played for head coach Unai Emery at Valencia from 2008-2009. He of course also has an existing relationship with new assistant coach and former teammate Freddie Ljungberg.