Arsenal appoint former Barcelona sporting director Raul Sanllehi

Arsenal appoint former Barcelona sporting director Raul Sanllehi

More backroom changes for the Gunners as Gazidis hires Sanllehi from Barcelona.

Dylan Walsh

Arsenal have announced the club have recruited former Barcelona sporting director Raul Sanllehi as the head of football relations.

Sanllehi was at the Catalan club for 14-years and played an instrumental role in the club’s transfer dealings as the La Liga side at their peak claimed the treble in 2009, as well as Champions League titles in 2011 and 2015.

He will join the club in February after leaving his role at Barca on Monday.

Expertise to Arsenal

In a statement on Arsenal’s official website, chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “In the past three years we have supplemented our team with more top-class expertise across every aspect of our football operations.

"Raul’s appointment is another important step in developing the infrastructure we need at the club to take everything we do to the next level. Raul has extensive contacts across the football world and has been directly involved in some of the biggest transfers in Europe in recent years. We look forward to him bringing that expertise to Arsenal.”

A change in North London

Arsenal have been keen to redevelopment their backroom staff this season, and the appointment of Sanllehi is the second major signing the club have made this month to this department of the club.

Last week the Gunners announced the signing of former Borussia Dortmund chief scout Sven Mislintat in an effort to improve the quality of signings the club make in the future. Mislintat’s nickname at Dortmund was ‘Diamond Eyes’ due to his ability to spot talent from areas of the world that would seem deprived of quality football players.

Mislintat signed Shinji Kagawa from J.League 2 side Cerezo Osaka for a reported fee of €350,000, and the Japanese international developed into one of the top players in the Bundesliga as Jurgen Klopp led the Black and Yellows to two back-to-back Bundesliga titles.