Arsenal have decided they want Marc Overmars to join his former club in an executive capacity and replace the current head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, the Mirror have reported.
Overmars, 45, spent three years with the Gunners during which he played a total of 141 games in all competitions, and scored 41 goals. He helped the club to the 1997/98 Premier League and FA Cup double. He left to join Barcelona in 2000, together with Emmanuel Petit.
Overmars has been a huge success in his director of football role at Ajax. He has been credited with the development of players like Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Justin Kluivert, as well as previously that of Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen and Davinson Sancez – now, of course, key players at Tottenham Hotspur.
Reports have recently emerged of unrest at Arsenal, related to Mislintat. Apparently, he had sounded out a few players and strongly advised the club to make the effort and sign them, but his instructions weren’t followed up on and he is extremely unhappy about it. Also, Bayern Munich have reportedly been sniffing around and want to take him back to Germany.
Arsenal’s redevelopment plans could walk into serious problems if Mislintat leaves, with Ivan Gazidis, former CEO, already gone to AC Milan. If there is truth in these fresh unrest reports, the club need to act quickly either to settle the matter and have Mislintat stay, or secure a suitable replacement as soon as possible and move on. One of the worst possible things that can happen to a club in transition is the people who are supposed to be running the project falling out.
However, at his pre-match press conference ahead of the 2-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday, manager Unai Emery said he wasn’t aware of any problems regarding Mislintat, with whom he speaks regularly and conducts business as usual.