Former Nigeria Super Eagles star, Michael Emenalo has quit his position as technical director at Premier League champions, Chelsea.
According to a report on the UK Telegraph, Emenalo decided to leave after declining not to engage in a three-way power battle with current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Marina Granovskaia who are known not to see eye to eye. Emenalo joined Chelsea in 2007 as an assistant under former Blues boss, Avram Grant.
“This has been a very difficult decision to make, but one I believe is right for both myself and my family, and the club,” Emenalo said. “I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the most talented people in the world of sport over the past 10 years, and I will depart incredibly proud of the achievements we have made. I wish Chelsea every success and look forward to following the club’s future triumphs from afar.”
Manager Antonio Conte also spoke on Emenalo’s departure: “I am very sorry to see Michael leave Chelsea, and I would like to thank him for all his help and support since I arrived at this club. I have enjoyed working with him very much, we celebrated a Premier League title together in May, and I wish him the very best for the future.”
His departure is said to be a “huge blow” to owner Roman Abramovic as Emenalo was “among the few people he trusts and takes advice from.”
Emenalo is said to have been a “vital element” at Chelsea under the Russian, having overseen the recruitment of stars such as Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Cesar Azpilicueta as well as the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, whose departures “frustrated” the former Nigeria international.
He was also a supporter of Conte after playing a role in his appointment, though according to sources, he did “not wish to engage in a three-way power battle with Conte and [director Marina] Granovskaia who are known not to see eye to eye,” after a disappointing summer transfer window.
Emenalo, who was in the Super Eagles squad for the USA ’94 World Cup, could assume a position at Ligue 1 side, AS Monaco.
He also worked as an opposition scout and assistant first-team coach under Carlo Ancelotti, replacing Ray Wilkins when he was sacked.
During his time as Chelsea’s technical director, Emenalo helped the club win three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League.