Raul Sanllehi Arsenal’s Exit Linked To Investigation Of £72million Signing Of Pepe, Replacement Named

Arsenal's Head of Football Raul Sanllehi has left his role with immediate effect and will be replaced by managing director Vinai Venkatesham.

The surprise move comes after it was revealed Arsenal will trigger a wide-sweeping probe into the £72million signing of struggling winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille last summer.

Technical director Edu will head up the investigation with Arsenal keen to determine whether they overspent on the Ivory Coast international.

In a statement, on behalf of owners Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, Stan and Josh Kroenke said: “Raul has made a big contribution during his time with us and will always be part of the Arsenal family.

“We thank him for all his hard work and expertise and wish him every future success. We have no doubt that Vinai is the right person to take the club forward.

“He has shown outstanding leadership during the current crisis and is held in high regard internally and externally. We know everyone will rally round him so we can move forward successfully.”

Venkatesham added: “I am thankful to Stan, Josh and the rest of the Arsenal Board for their trust in me.

“I will miss working closely with my colleague and friend Raul, but I am looking forward to this new challenge.

“There is much work to do to return Arsenal to the top of the game where we belong, which is what our fans rightly demand.

“While this will not happen overnight, I believe we have many of the critical ingredients to do so. There are many positives to build on across the club.

“While football faces uncertainties ahead as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, I am confident Arsenal will emerge strongly and look forward with confidence.”

Sanllehi thanked the club for the opportunity, saying: “I’m proud and pleased with the contribution I’ve made at Arsenal over the past three years, and look forward to enjoying the club’s future success.

“Arsenal is a true footballing institution. I am proud to have been part of its history and I thank Stan and Josh Kroenke for this opportunity.

“Working with Vinai, we have built a top team for the future. Mikel has made an extremely positive impact since his arrival and has formed a strong team with our technical director, Edu.

“The academy is in very safe hands with Per, and Huss Fahmy is a talented and highly-capable leader of our football operations.

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“Personally, I now look forward to taking some time off and spending time with family and friends before setting to work on a new challenge and cheering Arsenal on to great things.”

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago

Efe Bridget is a writer at GoalBall. She is a graduate of Mass Communication with 12 years of experience working with reputable publications.
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