Race on for top dog at Arsenal

Henri Bianchéri, the man who helped Arsène Wenger sign Thierry Henry for Monaco, on Wednesday declared his candidacy to fill the vacant director of football position at Arsenal.

The Frenchman spent 19 years as Monaco’s general manager, where he was a key ally of Wenger during the latter’s seven-year spell in the principality, and he is keen to renew their association.

With Wenger in charge of recruiting the replacement for former vice-chairperson David Dein, who parted company acrimoniously last week with the club where he remains a significant shareholder, Bianchéri might be considered well placed.

“I am very good friends with Arsène and he knows what my value is,” said Bianchéri, who occupied the director of football post at Marseille until he parted company with the French cup finalists earlier this season. “I am open to whatever propositions or proposals he may have.”

The 74-year-old Bianchéri’s discoveries of Franck Ribéry for Marseille and David Trezeguet and Philippe Christanval for Monaco recommend him as an accomplished talent spotter, but there are others who would also seem to fit the profile of Arsenal’s director of football to be.

Gilles Grimandi, a former Arsenal utility player, now works as the club’s principal scout in France, while another ex-player, Rémi Garde, is currently director of football at the six-time champions of France, Lyon.

Damien Comolli, Tottenham Hotspur’s sporting director, also has a long-term association with Wenger, but appeared on Wednesday to rule himself out of a move across north London. “I’m in a great project here at Tottenham, I don’t know why I would want to go somewhere else,” he said. “What I’m doing at Spurs is with passion so, for me, it’s not even an issue.”

Arsenal are understood to be seeking somebody to concentrate on player recruitment and contracts rather than a football politician in Dein’s image. The managing director, Keith Edelman, and Ken Friar, an executive director, will fulfil the representative responsibilities that were previously in Dein’s portfolio.—Â

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